Bicycle and Motorcycle Detection

As cities have improved and expanded their bicycle infrastructure during the past 20 years, traffic departments have found themselves continually seeking to solve a historically difficult problem—detecting and responding to bicycles at intersections.

Known for its accuracy and reliability in detecting transit and first-response vehicles throughout North America, the EMTRAC system now utilizes its patented technology to offer a non-intrusive bicycle-detection system.

The EMTRAC Bicycle Detection System includes a mobile-device app to help deliver accurate bicycle detection. The app recognizes when the cyclist is within a pre-defined detection zone and notifies the traffic controller via NTCIP or cabinet-mounted Priority Detector.

Bicycle Detection App with Custom Advertisement
  • Cost Effective / Multi-Use: Because this system utilizes control-cabinet mounted Priority Detectors, which may also be used to detect transit and first-response vehicles, much of the cost may be shared by other municipal or regional agencies.
  • Communications: Wayside Priority Detectors are equipped with 100 MB Ethernet communication and may receive commands from other agency vehicles using standard or custom protocols. Priority Detectors are also NTCIP ready and may act as DSRC pass-through components.
  • Expanded Vehicle Detection: Detect bicycles and motorcycles, as well as small vehicles that are difficult to detect by other methods. If the app is running, detection will occur without regard to weather, vehicle size, clothing color, or the material from which the vehicle is made.
  • System Security: The EMTRAC system has several different layers of protection, and all transmitted data is encrypted using the latest encryption algorithms.
  • Data Friendly: The app is optimized to reduce data usage based on a number of factors, such as proximity to detection zones and the amount of mobile-device movement. Data transmissions from the device are small, and update frequency is configurable so data usage can be kept low.
  • Flexibility: Intersections may be installed on a per-route basis to allow for budget and time constraints. As additional intersections are added, the in-app map display also updates available intersections to highlight desired bike routes.

Bicycle-Detection System Components

Illustration of EMTRAC Bicycle-Detection Components

Mobile Device & App: Installed on cyclist smart phones, the Bicycle-Detection app enables secure data communication with intersection traffic controllers. Transit and traffic agencies may also utilize screen space to display messages while the app operates in the background.

Priority Detectors (optional): Installed at equipped intersections, these units receive bicycle-detection signals and output this data to traffic controllers. The same detectors are used for Transit Signal Priority (TSP), Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP), and pedestrian detection. Additionally, the Bicycle Detection System is flexible. When using NTCIP, pedestrian-request signals are sent directly to the traffic controller and Priority Detectors are not required.

Data Center: The Data Center provides a firewall-protected transfer point for relaying all necessary detection information between the mobile devices and the Priority Detectors.


EMTRAC System video demonstrations of EMTRAC System capabilities, including Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP), Transit Signal Priority (TSP), transit rail safety, vehicle detection, and signal management.

Intelligent Signal Management  -  1:13