• Transit Signal Priority
  • Transit Signal Priority
  • Emergency Vehicle Preemption

Increase Safety — Decrease Travel Time

Emergency Vehicle Preemption and Transit Signal Priority

The EMTRAC Priority Management System uses precise navigation technology and secure RF communication to detect equipped transit, emergency, and municipal vehicles and to place priority or preemption requests to intersection signal-control equipment.


EMTRAC Introduction Video: Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP)
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the technological leader in signal priority

EMTRAC Rail Line Safety Video: Rail Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Safety System
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Rail-Line Safety

EMTRAC Rail-Line Safety

with rail-operator notifications

EMTRAC Rail Worker Safety Video: Demonstrating how Transit Agencies Can Improve Safety for Right-of-Way Rail Workers
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Rail Worker Safety

EMTRAC Rail-Worker Safety

wayside and onboard notification system

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Rail Worker Safety Demo
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BART Worker-Safety Demo

BART Worker-Safety Demo

safety notifications when trains approach wayside rail workers

EMTRAC Rail Worker Safety Test Video
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Rail Safety Test

EMTRAC Rail-Safety Test

right-of-way and rail-operator notifications

EMTRAC News Items

September 14, 2016 - The EMTRAC System was initially developed in 1986 to enable first response vehicles to request priority through signalized intersections, and fire departments have used the EMTRAC system since that time to safely reduce response times. Transit agencies also use the EMTRAC system to improve schedule adherence, as well as to make use of safety features such as collision avoidance and wayside worker notifications.

At the very start, EMTRAC development engineers eschewed the methods used by legacy signal-priority products, namely optical systems that utilize pulsed flashing lights from vehicles requesting priority. Instead, the vehicle-to-intersection communication on the EMTRAC system was performed through wireless RF, a method that proved itself far more reliable and is still used today. In fact, the EMTRAC system was the first patent issued for a wireless, microprocessor-based priority system.

In the early 1990s, the ongoing development of GPS offered another way to improve the EMTRAC system, so team engineers began exploring how to best employ GPS on the existing EMTRAC system. At this point, satellite navigation still had many limitations of its own, including satellite signal strength, receiver sensitivity and processing time, selective availability, and an incomplete constellation of orbiting satellites.

The early EMTRAC GPS design was able to accommodate many of the existing limitations, but development engineers were still unsatisfied with the results. So in 2004, after successive satellite launches to replace and add to the GPS constellation, as well as improvements to receiver capabilities, the EMTRAC team released the GPS-capable system, which was subsequently tested against competing systems by traffic agencies in both the US and Canada.

As the benefits of Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) were widely recognized in industry reports and recommendations, Transit Rail Priority (TSP) became a logical extension of EMTRAC system technology. This technology was not limited to buses though, as EMTRAC became an early adopter of system customization for transit rail, being utilized on both commuter rail and light rail vehicles.

Despite the positive results, EMTRAC engineers continue to look ahead to advances in technology, and they continue to develop new designs as new technologies become available, adding additional capabilities to the EMTRAC patent portfolio. Likewise, traffic, transit, and first-response agencies continue to offer their own ideas for enhancements to the EMTRAC system.

As system capabilities continue to evolve, the EMTRAC development team has also changed. The team is young and enthusiastic, and they are mindful of their ability to help improve both travel time and safety for those aboard EMTRAC-equipped vehicles. Their desire to collaborate with agencies and technological partners also remains. EMTRAC engineers keep in close contact with their counterparts at the various city and regional agencies using the system.

The distributors of the EMTRAC system also work closely with the traffic engineers and technicians, implementing enhancement suggestions and offering support when needed.

Transit is a key part of the future of transportation in North America, and the EMTRAC system must meet demanding operational and environmental requirements so that it reflects both the efficiency needs and safety needs of the forward-looking agencies using the system.

Please contact us for more information about the EMTRAC system and to receive detailed system specifications.

EMTRAC Priority Control in Kennewick, Washington

Emergency Vehicle Activating EHB and Leaving Station

August 23, 2016 - EMTRAC has a new user in the City of Kennewick, WA, and their recently installed system demostrates the compatibility of EMTRAC optical equipment with legacy optical emitters made by competitors.

The EMTRAC System was chosen to provide safe egress for emergency vehicles from a new fire station. An EMTRAC wide-angle optical sensor was positioned across the street from the doors of the station, and an EMTRAC Priority Detector was installed in a stand-alone rack in an existing traffic signal cabinet at a nearby intersection. When the Priority Detector receives a call from the sensor it initiates a high-priority preemption call to the traffic controller and also activates an Emergency Hybrid Beacon (EHB) Signal. The EHB is used to stop traffic in front of the station to allow egress of emergency vehicles.

The Installed EMTRAC Priority Detector

Installed Priority Detector

ACT Traffic Solutions designed the installation and reprogrammed the traffic controller to support the EHB.