SOURCE: Remote Control Technology

Remote Control Technology

March 29, 2011 12:34 ET

Washington, DC Commuters See the Light: Remote Control Technology, Inc. Provided Washington, DC With an Intelligent Wireless Solution for the Automation and Operation of Emergency Traffic Control Lighting in Several Tunnels Within the City Area

REDMOND, WA--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - Washington, DC faced a challenge to find a practical solution to comply with the signaling requirements specified in the 2008 edition of the NFPA 502 Standard for road tunnels, bridges, and other limited access highways. Several tunnels within the city area required lane signal/indicating devices over each roadway lane, every 300 feet within the tunnel and at each portal entrance. Remote Control Technology (RCT) developed a practical solution to the challenge of NFPA 502 compliance. The solution integrated an intelligent wireless radio traffic control system in conjunction with the existing fire detection system of each tunnel.

The intelligent wireless radio traffic control system, engineered by Remote Control Technology, is used to manage and automate lane signal/indicating traffic lights. The lights are used to control the flow of traffic through the city tunnels in the event of a fire emergency or to provide a safe working environment during tunnel maintenance. Controlling the flow of traffic during a fire emergency allows fire and rescue safety personnel faster access to an incident inside any of the tunnels.

A computer located in the traffic control center of each tunnel autonomously monitors the existing fire control system for alarm or fire detection, communications status between signal light control stations, and the status of each signal light. This information is displayed on an easy-to-use graphical user interface allowing operators to quickly determine the status of wireless radio lighting control and fire detection systems. If the computer detects the activation of a fire zone, it autonomously changes the current signal light pattern to predetermined signal light patterns. A communication failure is also displayed on the graphical user interface allowing the operator to notify service personnel so that problems in the system can be resolved quickly. The graphical user interface is designed to allow city personnel to manually control the system and override any signal light pattern. The wireless signal lights and controllers are powered off the existing interior light system so very little additional wiring was required, and tunnel lane closure was therefore minimized.

Remote Control Technology designed and manufactured the wireless lighting control signal stations. Each station is designed as an intelligent wireless radio link to the computer in the traffic control room of each tunnel. A frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) wireless radio and a programmable logic device (PLD) make up the communication and intelligence for each light control signal station, creating a mesh network in each tunnel. The mesh network provides the system with multiple paths of communication between the lighting control stations and the computer in the traffic control room of the tunnel.

The most notable benefits of the intelligent wireless radio traffic control system are:

  • Compliance with signaling requirements specified in NFPA 502 Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and other limited access highways
  • Minimized wiring, lane closures, mechanical and electric system changes
  • Autonomous emergency traffic control
  • Faster fire and rescue response to an incident in any tunnel
  • Easy-to-use graphical user interface for instant tunnel signal control lighting status
  • Manual signal control to override the computer and for tunnel maintenance operations

Because of RCT, the city commuters have one less thing to worry about.

For more information about this application or future wireless radio applications please visit or contact Matthew Sanders by phone at (425) 216-7555 or by email at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Matthew Sanders
    Tel: (425) 216-7555
    Fax: (425) 216-7558
    Email: Email Contact