Rotterdam Thermicam: green traffic light through body heat

Open data cities

The city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, does not want bicyclists to wait any longer than necessary for traffic lights. The city is doing a test in which traffic lights will be activated when they sense more than one bicyclist through body heat. Meet the Rotterdam Thermicam.

The first results are very positive. It is expected that other cities in The Netherlands (and why not abroad?) will copy the initiative.

Rotterdam Thermocam

The name of the sensor is ‘Thermicam’, which registrates how many bikers are waiting for the traffic light. When too many bicyclists are waiting, the traffic light is prioritized for green light. Alderman Pex Langenberg says in Dutch national newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ that the average waiting time was reduced from 98 to 67 seconds in the morning. In the evening, reduction is even more, from 100 to 63 seconds.

The test was organized under the condition that public transport should not be disadvantaged by the Thermicam. “We succeeded here’, says Mr. Langenberg. “And motorists only have to wait a few seconds longer”.

Thermicam is not the only smart innovation for bikers. Since one year, Rotterdam also has rain sensors, which make traffic lights for bicyclists turn to green more frequent when it is raining.

A great innovation, especially for cities with many bicyclists.


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