St. Augustine uses Bluetooth to track traffic flow

New technology is helping St. Augustine track traffic.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The City of St. Augustine just wrapped up a high-tech program that tracks vehicles and where they go by using Bluetooth technology.

St. Augustine locals like Lenny Foster know when is the best time to snag a great parking space downtown. And sure, there's a lot of traffic in the old city.

"There is, of course," Foster nodded. "It's a tourist town. There should be a lot of traffic! If there wasn't traffic, that would be news!"

The City of St. Augustine has heard from tourists and locals about the congested streets, and it's trying to find solutions.

The city teamed up with a company to install tall rods with different kinds of traffic tracking devices on them.  Some of the devices count cars. Some of the devices are counting pedestrians with video cameras.

The most intriguing devices use Bluetooth technology to actually track - not just count - cars.

"It'll get origin and destination," St. Augustine Mobility Coordinator Xavier Pellicer said. He said those Bluetooth tracking devices will help answer questions such as "Where cars come from and where are they going" and "Are they coming from St. Augustine Beach to pass through St. Augustine, to go to Jacksonville?"

Pellicer said the traffic devices recognize Bluetooth components built into cars and in cell phones.

He said the data collected will help the city  come up with a better idea about traffic flow  in order to move traffic more smoothly around downtown.

Foster said he feels it's a little invasive, but he noted that improving traffic in a tourist dependent city is necessary.

According to the city, the equipment and tracking costs about $41,000.

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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