Orlando to add Bluetooth readers at traffic lights

The City of Orlando will buy and install $134,000 worth of Bluetooth readers to try and alleviate traffic woes. Orlando Traffic Engineer Charles Ramdatt says the plan is intended to improve traffic signal timing.  "We are trying to make sure that our signal system is optimized for pedestrian movement, emergency vehicle movement, and for regular automobile movement."

When you pass a Bluetooth reader on the streets, it will read either a device in your car or your cell phone. Pass the next box down the road and now the readers can tell how long it takes to get from box one to box two, giving them an up to the minute look at traffic conditions. Ramdatt says the readers are not spying on you though.  "We never know who the person is to begin with because we are only looking at a short portion of the address."

Ramdatt says they will start by placing the readers throughout downtown Orlando.  "Downtown is the tightest grid of traffic signals in all of Central Florida. It's very difficult to re-time those signals."  Ramdatt says the goal is to eventually have a network that can be merged with the efforts by the Florida Department of Transportation, and the information be shared with the public.  "So people can get around roadblocks, crashes. When we have special events they can travel on routes that are less congested."

Once downtown stoplights are retimed, the plan is to move those readers to other congested areas in the city.