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Introduction. Problem Statement. Assumptions. Software previously developed is accurate and usable System will flash LED’s only during class breaks and when demanded by pedestrian LED’s will flash no less than 50 and no more than 60 times per minute

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Closing summary


Problem Statement


  • Software previously developed is accurate and usable

  • System will flash LED’s only during class breaks and when demanded by pedestrian

  • LED’s will flash no less than 50 and no more than 60 times per minute

  • System cannot be completely protected by vandalism

  • Prototype will be fully functional using wireless communication and solar power

  • System will be implemented at a location on the Iowa State University campus

  • Design and implement a prototype LED crosswalk system

  • Use solar power and wireless communication to achieve result

  • Install system at a campus location

  • Typical Iowa climate (-25°C to 80°C)

  • Varied types of precipitation

  • Typical Iowa wind gusts (up to 60 mph)

  • Iowa State University Department of Public Safety, motorists and pedestrians will all use this system

  • The intent is to alert drivers of possible pedestrians crossing


Operating Environment

Intended Users and Uses

Expected End Product



Team Members

Doug Houghton

ISU Department of Public Safety

Program Manager

Dr. John Lamont (EE/CprE)

Dr. Ralph Patterson, III (EE/CprE)

Dr. Greg Smith (EE/CprE)

David Wallace (CprE/Team Leader)

Dustin Nekvinda (EE/Comm. Cord.)

Jake Bonner (EE)

Hieu Pham (EE)

Brian Schnurr (EE)

May 07-01

LED-Outlined Crosswalk System

Approach and Considerations


In late 2005 an Iowa State student was struck by a charter bus while crossing a street on campus.  This incident may have been avoided if there had been some sort of warning system to alert the driver of the bus that there was a pedestrian crossing the street. The objective of this project is to produce crosswalk signs capable of grabbing the attention of motorists, and in doing so, reduce the chance for an accident. The crosswalk signs will be the standard diamond crosswalk signs with LEDs mounted in each corner. These LEDs will flash to attract motorist’s attention to the crosswalk. Also, the LEDs will flash during specified high traffic times throughout the day and also be available “on demand” through the use of a pushbutton at the signs.

  • Proposed Approach

  • Master system will control all signaling sign(s)

  • Prototype system will be solar powered

  • Communications between master control and slave will use Bluetooth chips

  • Sign LEDs will flash either when button is pushed or during class breaks Monday through Friday

  • Testing Considerations

  • Subsystems component interaction

  • Integrated systems testing

  • Outdoor site testing

  • Technologies Considered

  • Bluetooth communications

  • DC (Solar) powered source

  • PIC microcontroller master system

Estimated Resources

Estimated Personnel Hours

(781 Total Hours)

Estimated Cost

($10,662, including labor)

Project Requirements

  • Design Objectives

  • Operation: Operate automatically with no human intervention

  • User interface: Pushbutton and automatic LED flashing

  • Physical constraints: Meets all DOT and MUTCD regulations

  • Functional Requirements

  • Sign Display: Capture motorist attention, warn motorist of pedestrian

  • Reliability: Functional in the absence of sunlight up to 5 days

  • Pushbutton: Activate sign

  • PIC: Keep track of real time, signal the activation of sign’s LEDs

  • Controller: Activate sign’s LEDs

  • Communication network: Proper transmitting and receiving of information between PIC and controller

  • Charger: Protect battery and loads from over voltage and current

  • Design Constraints

  • Economic: Cost effective and affordable

  • Weather: Operable in adverse weather and temperature conditions

  • Power consumption: Low power consumption

  • Vandalism: Withstand a reasonable degree of vandalism

Project Schedule

Closing Summary

Preservation of human life is of the utmost importance. Whatever can be done to further this cause should be effectively implemented. It is the goal of this design team to do just that. A crosswalk sign with flashing LEDs shall be designed and produced with the purpose of attracting motorist’s attention to the crosswalk and to the pedestrians crossing the street. Once the signs are in place, the design team feels that pedestrian safety shall be increased, and the likelihood for motorist-pedestrian collisions shall be greatly reduced.