UK trials show reliability of new traffic detector with inbuilt AI

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An innovative new traffic detector has been trialled by traffic authorities across the UK.

The first ever AGD650s manufactured by AGD Systems were sent to local authorities so they could trial the dual zone stop line detector, which makes use of AI technology.

The 650 was specifically designed to detect both moving and stationary targets in two independent user-adjustable zones, using a new neural processing AI platform with sophisticated algorithms and deep learning image recognition.

Among the local authorities which took part in the UK trials at the end of 2022 – ahead of wider production beginning this quarter – were Cardiff City Council and Glasgow City Council.

In Cardiff, the 650 was used at a site where a cycle lane intersected a busy road: the technology previously being used wasn’t effectively detecting cyclists, and there was no function to cancel demand if a cyclist moved away from the crossing before the red light had been triggered for vehicles.

Paul Jones, City Operations Section Leader (Electrical) at Cardiff Council, said: “Previously, we’d spoken to a number of cyclists who felt they weren’t being detected by the old product as they approached the junction. Since the AGD650 has been in place, this has been greatly reduced.

“It’s important for the detector to be able to automatically cancel demands as often cyclists will proceed if the road is clear (sometimes on a red cycle signal), this results in other movements being delayed needlessly because the cyclist has already cleared the junction.

“We have a different detector (the AGD645) in place at a number of sites in the city, so we contacted AGD and that’s when they asked us if we’d like to trial the 650 at this junction. We have been really happy with how pro-active they are and the team’s communication, and they even came to install the detector and show the team how it worked.”

Two AGD650s were sent to Glasgow, the first sited at a junction where service vehicles exit from a pedestrian section of a road. The number of pedestrians in the area meant there were repeated false detections with previous detectors, so the 650 was set up to only trigger when four-wheel vehicles entered the detection zone.

At the second location, vehicles exit from a car park adjacent to a stop line which usually meant they weren’t being detected by the existing solution.

A council spokesman said: “The outcome of the trial was that the detector was 100% effective in both test locations. The technology has the capability of correctly identifying vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians – and giving an improved level of control for traffic signals which makes it more reliable and effective than traditional detectors.

“As the detector is more reliable, traffic signals are only triggered when required and this makes them more efficient and reduces lost time at junctions.”

Greg Baker, Commercial Manager at AGD, said the trials had highlighted the benefits of the AGD650 at a variety of junctions where there were very different existing detection challenges.

“During the development of the 650, our focus was ensuring accuracy of detection which – during the trials – has been shown to support the smooth running of traffic and reduce unnecessary wait times.

“Working with forward-thinking local authorities like Cardiff and Glasgow has allowed us to comprehensively trial the AGD650 before it goes into general production, providing an insight of how we can develop new features to support more complex traffic control applications going forward.”

For more information about the 650, visit www.agd-systems.com/agd_product/650-dual-lane-stop-line-detector.

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A UK manufacturing firm has proved its health and safety practices meet international standards.

AGD Systems has achieved ISO45001 accreditation after a number of independent audits showed their working methods were of the highest calibre when it comes to health and safety.

The firm – which has been running for three decades, developing and manufacturing ITS product solutions for the global market – had already been accredited to ISO9001 (quality) and ISO14001 (environmental) standards for a number of years.

But this year they decided to complete the trio of gold-standard accreditations and took just weeks to secure the third certificate.

Quality Manager Martin Smith explains: “We have always prioritised health and safety and, for the last ten years, we’ve had a committee comprising of members from every AGD department who meet regularly to make suggestions and bring employees’ views to the management team.

“So when we applied for the ISO45001 accreditation, this involved auditing our existing manuals and instructions to ensure that the work we were doing – and how this was explained in those manuals – matched the expectations of the ISO standard.

“We went through 70 different processes to ensure the wording of each was correlated with requirements. This was followed by three audits by a third party (NQA) who checked everything was being done properly. We were very satisfied with how quickly we were able to achieve this new accreditation, and that no issues were highlighted during the audits.”

AGD will now have a selection of their processes audited every year, following by a full re-accreditation process every fourth year.

Martin added: “We are confident that having all three ISO standards will reassure new clients across the globe that we take quality, the environment, and health and safety extremely seriously and will continue to work to those high standards.

“While most of our customers hold all three certificates, it’s unusual for a company of our size in the ITS sector to have all three. We are very proud of the AGD team for their continued work to ensure we are leading the way when it comes to meeting international standards.”

AGD Systems is one of the UK’s leading ITS manufacturers, offering a globally-acclaimed class-leading range of solutions for smart cities, smart highways and strategic transport initiatives – suitable for the ever-changing needs of today and the challenges of tomorrow. Visit www.agd-systems.co.uk to find out more.

Pedestrian signal solution to go on display at Saudi Expo

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One of AGD System’s leading pedestrian signal solutions will be on display at an international event later this month.

Saudi Controls, who have recently acquired more than 100 of our AGD946 Puffin products complete with tactile and sounders, will be displaying them for attendees at the Saudi Intermobility Expo 2022 from November 29th to December 1st.

Used across the world to improve safety and efficiency at crossings, the pedestrian nearside signal is a high-performance solution which combines a pedestrian nearside signal and demand unit. Interest also extends to the AGD947 Toucan signal for cyclists and pedestrians within active travel schemes.

The 946 includes a two-legend signal (red waiting man and green walking man) and a call accepted indicator, with an illuminated push button. Plus, the 946 is available in multi-language variants so it can be used by city authorities across the world.

Its unrivalled optical performance, with patented narrow field of view options, make it a top choice for those responsible for urban planning and the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians.

AGD’s Commercial Director Ian Hind explains: “The AGD946 has many benefits, but three which are most highly rated in this region are proven reliability, compatibility with local controllers, and ease of installation and maintenance.

“We’re thrilled that visitors to the Saudi Intermobility Expo will be able to see the 946 up close, and we’d be delighted to hear from anyone who’d like to find out more – either about the 946 or about any of the other solutions we’ve brought to the pedestrian signal and detection market.”

For more detailed product specifications, simply click here.

Highways Radar and Stop-Line Detector on display at UK show

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Two of AGD’s product solutions are set to be stars of the show as the team joins the two-day Highways UK event.

Both the AGD343 and AGD650 will be on display, with the expert team on hand to discuss the capabilities of each.

The 343 is currently in use around the world – with more than 100 units having been installed in Qatar as part of the extensive highways upgrades ahead of the FIFA World Cup which kicks off in a few weeks. The product is also in use in Australia and Canada, as well as closer to home in Europe.

It’s a class-leading traffic flow Highways Monitoring Radar which offers an unrivalled alternative to outdated high maintenance loop systems. Among its benefits are the ability to place it just 2m from the nearest running lane, a position from which the radar is able to monitor up to 10 lanes of traffic – feeding back detailed information to control rooms. The enforcement grade radar monitors the speed, range and length of passing vehicles.

The second product on show at Highways UK is the AGD650, the very latest innovation from the ITS manufacturer.

Currently being trialled by a number of UK local authorities ahead of a global launch, the dual zone stop-line detector represents an exciting future opportunity to deliver a rich data stream on targets approaching intersections.

The smart, optical AI detector is designed to operate in single and dual stop-line configurations – detecting stationary and moving targets using high-grade optics and deep-learning image recognition. It is proving popular for active travel schemes where detection of cyclists and scooters is key to junction efficiency.

If you’d like to find out more about the 343 or 650, then do visit the team at stand K6 at Highways UK, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd November. Or if you’re unable to make the show but would like to speak to the AGD team at another time – simply email [email protected] and we’ll be in touch shortly.

AGD to take new stop-line detector to the JCT Symposium

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Visitors to an upcoming industry event will have the chance to see AGD’s latest product – a multi-lane stop-line detector.

Early AGD650 units are currently being deployed across city and local authority sites after initial testing showed an impressive precision accuracy rate – something which attendees at next week’s JCT Symposium will be able to find out more about.

The event takes place on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th September at Nottingham Trent University, bringing together traffic signal practitioners and manufacturers.

It’s been running since 1996, with the MOVA User Group taking place immediately before at the same venue. The two days are packed full of everything from networking opportunities and social events to conference style papers on topics including use of 5G and environmental credentials.

We’re proud to not only be attending, but also co-sponsoring the video element of the event.

The team – including Commercial Director Ian Hind and Commercial Manager Greg Baker – will be taking along a selection of our pedestrian suite and traffic detection products – including, of course, the 650.

Now just three months away from full-volume production, the AGD650 is the result of our determination to improve detection accuracy at red lights, particularly of bicycles and e-scooters. The final result (after extensive research, development and testing) is a smart, optical, dynamic environment detector which improves the efficiency of intersections and junctions by delivering robust vehicle data at the stop-line of multi-lane approaches.

The 650 has inbuilt artificial intelligence and makes use of a new neural processing platform and sophisticated algorithms to provide ultra-reliable real-time detection and automated decision making on vehicle types. Both stationary and moving targets are detected using high-grade optics and deep-learning image recognition.

To find out more about the JCT Symposium, you can click here.

Or there’s more information about the 650 here.

New AGD AI detector ups the data capability game

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A leading ITS manufacturer with three decades of expertise has launched its latest product.

The AGD650, developed and produced by AGD Systems, is a dual-lane stop-line detector with potential data capabilities which are already creating excitement in the industry.

The 650 was first showcased at the Intertraffic event in Amsterdam this spring, and will also be on show again during Traffex this month (June).

A limited number of trial kits will then be installed around the country, to enable a select group of local authorities and highways organisations access to the product before it goes on general sale across the world.

Commercial Director Ian Hind says: “We’re thrilled to add the 650 to our product range, and it’s been fantastic to see solid initial interest – especially from organisations keen to see an increase in the data which can be gleaned from traffic detectors.

“The 650 is a step up from our previous offerings, in terms of its data capabilities, but we know we can take this much further and it’s a key area of focus for us going forward.

“The richer the data streams, the more possibilities for control centres and for those planning the future of infrastructure and transportation. The ITS is always a fast-moving sector, and it’s even more exciting at the moment because we know how much this area is set to develop in the coming years.”

The 650 has inbuilt artificial intelligence and makes use of a new neural processing platform and sophisticated algorithms to provide ultra-reliable real-time detection and automated decision making on vehicle types, including bicycles and scooters.

The hardware platform is future proofed for vehicle classification to provide more detailed information in the future.

There are two independent detection zones which can be adjusted remotely, and the product makes use of AGD’s WiFi Touch-setup system.

More information is available by visiting the 650 product page – and anyone interested in trialling the 650 should get in touch with the team by calling 01452 854212 or clicking the button below.

Celebrating Our Living Wage Accreditation

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We are delighted to announce that The Traffic Group are now an accredited Living Wage Employer!

This means that every member of staff working for The Traffic Group (incorporating AGD Systems, MAV Systems, and Traffic Group Signals) will earn a wage that truly reflects the cost of living, not just the government minimum wage.

In light of the cost-of-living crisis, the choice to make this adjustment came as common sense. Since last December, food and drink prices have increased 4.2%, housing and utilities by 4% and transport by 12.1%. We hope that this commitment to paying a fair wage will help reduce the financial burden on our staff and support with costs of travel.

In addition to becoming officially accredited and committing to a fairer Living Wage, we have introduced further pay scales to support employee development.

Like any responsible employer paying the real living wage will make a real difference to the financial well-being of our staff. With the cost of living rising during 2022, this commitment to our staff ensures they will be able to afford the things they need to live and worry less about their income.

“The response from staff has been extremely positive and reaffirms our decision. We, as an organisation, would encourage others to join in supporting their staff and the Living Wage Foundation.”

The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week. It is currently £9.90 in the UK, with a higher rate of £11.05 for London, reflecting the higher costs of living in the capital.

As it stands, workers paid the government’s National Living Wage need almost an extra £800 per year to bring earnings in line with the real Living Wage. This difference could pay for 13 weeks of food, or 10 weeks of housing costs.

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We’re delighted that The Traffic Group has joined the movement of almost 9,000 responsible employers across the UK who voluntarily commit to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on.”

“They join thousands of small businesses, as well as household names such as Burberry, Barclays, Everton Football Club and many more. These businesses recognise that paying the real Living Wage is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like The Traffic Group, believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

Since 2011, the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 300,000 people and put over £1.6 billion extra into the pockets of low paid workers. You can hear some of their stories here.

The importance of ensuring workers throughout England earn a fair wage is crucial now more than ever, in the face of higher bills and cost of essentials. This is a choice that we encourage all businesses to make; it’s our responsibility to pay our staff a wage they can support themselves and their families with.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Living Wage please contact [email protected] or use the webform here.

You can find out more about the Living Wage by visiting www.livingwage.org.uk.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to join the business as we are hiring in a number of areas

AGD to focus on the data streams of today and tomorrow at Traffex

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Traffex visitors will be among the first to see AGD’s latest offering up close, when the event begins on Tuesday 14th June.

One of the products being showcased on our stand will be the AGD650, a stop-line detector that will have the capability to deliver a rich data stream on targets approaching intersections.

And our Commercial Director Ian Hind and Commercial Manager Greg Baker will also be taking to the stage at the Solutions Showcase Theatre to discuss exactly how the ITS sector can develop the use of data – to the benefit of highways authorities everywhere.

About the AGD650:

The smart, optical AI detector is designed for either single or dual stop-line configurations, with provision for cycle refuge areas. High-grade optics and deep-learning image recognition are used to detect stationary and moving targets – making use of WiFi AGD Touch-setup to speed up installation and reduce risk.

The ability to send real time data and video with IP connectivity to ITS control rooms means truly informed decision-making is on the horizon for all vehicle target types.

About our presentation:

Ian and Greg will be speaking at the Solutions Showcase Theatre at 11.05am on day 2 of the event (Wednesday 15th June), focusing on where the data stream journey may lead.

Looking at the need for a shared industry-wide language, and how the sector can respond to new forms of transport and new travel patterns, they’ll explore not only what data is available now, but also what the future could hold.

Questions and discussion are welcomed, so do join them for what promises to be an interesting debate.

Where to find us:

You can find us at stand D026, where we’ll be displaying the AGD650 and many of our other class-leading detection solutions which have contributed towards our position as one of the UK’s most successful manufacturers of ITS products.

If you haven’t yet secured your free visitor ticket, you can do so at www.traffex.com

AGD gears up for Intertraffic Amsterdam

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The team at AGD Systems is thrilled to be finally attending Intertraffic Amsterdam, scheduled to take place from 29th March to 1st April 2022 – a welcome return for the event after organisers were forced to postpone last year’s plans.

We’re embracing the opportunity to showcase our class-leading pedestrian and traffic monitoring radar solutions, connect with over 800 exhibitors, and greet contacts old and new during what is sure to be an outstanding event.

With the traffic industry undergoing major changes in a bid to drive growth towards safer, greener and more efficient transport environments, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the latest trends in traffic mobility, from Infrastructure, Safety, and Parking, to Smart Mobility and Traffic Management.

As one of the leading UK manufacturers of ITS products developing the most innovative systems for smart cities, smart highways and intelligent crossings, our friendly team will be on hand throughout the four-day event to explore with you our pioneering and future-proof pedestrian and highways monitoring radar systems.

It is also the perfect occasion to share with you details of an exciting new product launching soon, which is in the final stages of development and set to be a game changer, showing early signs of hugely impressive performance!

The AGD team will be on Stand 05.428 in Hall 5, so do come along and say hello if you’re planning to attend.

If you haven’t already done so, head along to the Intertraffic Amsterdam website now to secure your ticket to this unmissable event.

World Cup FIFA Corridor is ready for kick off!

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When it comes to preparing for an influx of visitors, ensuring traffic stays moving while hosting one of the biggest sporting events on the globe is a tall order.

The team at ITS Qatar has been tasked with ensuring that intelligent traffic systems on the ‘FIFA Corridor’ (as it’s known colloquially) are up to the task ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicking off in Qatar in November. Given the importance of the job, they’re relying on tried and tested technology manufactured and supplied by AGD Systems to maximise the safety and efficiency of the roads during the event.

Matches will be played across eight venues, one near Al Khor in the north and the other seven in and around the capital city of Doha. It’s estimated that more than 1 million fans will attend the 28-day event, meaning traffic monitoring and movement will be crucial.

ITS Qatar’s CEO Eng. Abdelrahman Al Khateeb explains: “We wanted to use technology that had been tried and tested across the world, and partner with a company which we knew would be able to meet the specifications needed.

“Qatar has developed incredibly quickly, and many huge highways were built around five years ago – now that technology has improved, enhancements are needed to update the systems being used on these highways.

“Ian and the team at AGD have been great at not only providing the systems that we required, but also keeping us up to date at every step along the way, supporting with installation and maintenance, and providing training for our clients too.

“We are involved in two of the FIFA infrastructure projects, worth a combined total of almost £30m – these both have a tight schedule to ensure everything is ready for the games, so the first began in December 2020 and will finish by May this year, and the second began in November 2021 and will be complete in August 2022.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to work with Ian and the AGD team, they’ve been there to assist us with everything we’ve needed and the response rate has been excellent. I would definitely recommend them and hope to work with them on future projects.”

AGD has supplied over 100 of their AGD343 Systems as part of ITS Qatar’s FIFA infrastructure projects.

The 343 Highways Monitoring Radar provides real-time, multi-lane highways data and helps agencies across the world enhance the safety, capability and efficiency of their traffic systems.

Detailed data can be captured across up to 10 lanes, including the speed, direction and type of passing vehicles. The 343 leads the way, not only compared to outdated high-maintenance loop systems, but also compared to radar systems which must be installed far from the carriageway: by comparison, the 343 can be sited just 2 metres from the nearest lane.

Manufacturing, supply, and support for the installation and maintenance are all taken care of by AGD Systems, one of the UK’s most successful manufacturers of ITS products. With more than 30 years of delivering solutions for smart cities and highways, and strategic transport initiatives around the globe, AGD has a range of product solutions which fit today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges.