How Applied Information Technology Works with Carmanah Products

3 min. read

Building AI into your safety program simplifies maintenance and monitoring

When it comes to traffic safety, we are committed to making it easy to build upon the foundation our beacons and signs offer in school zones, at crosswalks, and more. That’s why Carmanah products can connect to third-party devices such as time switches.

school zone speed limit sign with solar-powered flashing beaconsTime switches can be used in several Carmanah products, including school zone beacons and radar speed signs. These devices store a user-set calendar and then indicate to the Carmanah product when it should turn on or off. Any product that operates on a calendar or time-based schedule could use a time switch if desired.

Time switches are especially useful for helping school districts manage school zone beacons quickly and easily. Since school zone speed limits are only in effect around the start and end of the school day—and only on certain days of the week—they must be programmed with calendar data to function as such. Many types of beacons still must be programmed manually, which is both time-consuming and expensive. Someone must physically visit each installed beacon’s location and upload the calendar data, ensuring the beacons flash when they are supposed to. In addition, if a beacon isn’t functioning, a district depends on maintenance visits or calls from the public to become aware of any issues.

However, since wireless technologies have greatly improved in recent years, so have the possibilities for remote monitoring and programming. Both existing and new school zone beacons can take advantage of these technologies.

Applied Information field control unit and Glance™ software

Applied Information (AI) specializes in intelligent transportation system solutions for the traffic industry. Their field control unit (FCU) can be used with existing hardware in other products, including any Carmanah product, to provide time switch functions as well as remote monitoring. The FCU is controlled by AI’s cloud-based Glance software. What can the FCU and Glance do?

  • Monitor beacons and send a text or email alert if any problem with the power, batteries, or LEDs is detected.
  • Allow for schedules to be remotely created and adjusted.
  • Notify when beacon LEDs need replacing.
  • Track AC voltage, battery back-up, and solar charge voltage.

The FCU is also easy to install within Carmanah’s products, and the beacons configure themselves automatically—meaning that no on-site configuration is required.

AI’s Glance Smart City Supervisory System™ platform enables cities to manage all traffic and ITS assets in a single web-based application, including school zone beacons, traffic signals, and more. Complete solutions like this are becoming more common and easier for cities to implement. In one project, AI distributor Temple, Inc. worked in Georgia’s Gwinnett County to install 270 school beacons within a five-day period. The county reported a 90% reduction in calls related to school zone beacon operation thanks to improved communication with each beacon in the system.

With advancements to wireless connectivity, the monitoring technology it enables, and the beacons themselves, everyone can experience a safer journey to school, work, or elsewhere in the neighborhood, benefiting the community as a whole.

Get started with smart city technology this summer

Our commitment to sustainable solutions means we are always exploring new possibilities for smart city technology across all our traffic safety solutions. Looking to add school zone beacons, radar speed signs, or other solutions to your school district this fall? Applied Information has two promotions:

Purchase a field control unit (FCU) with a 5-year Glance connectivity subscription and receive free FCU installation on your new or existing school zone beacon


Purchase a 5-year subscription to Glance on a new or retrofit school zone beacon and get an additional 5 years on that subscription (10 years for the price of 5)

Orders must be placed by July 31, 2019, to qualify. Visit their Connected School Beacon System section for more information about this traffic safety solution.

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