The Technology Behind Vehicle Detection Loops

Civilians have a fascination with traffic lights that “know” they are at the light. The light will turn green, and they’re on their way before they can put their morning coffee back in the cup holder. Most lights do not have this technology. Some tout the technology, and it works extremely well to efficiently keep control of traffic through intersections.

Traffic control products like vehicle detection loops accomplish a few things:

  1. Identify when a vehicle is stopped at a light
  2. Determine if traffic is stacking up at a light
  3. Control the light duration

Vehicle Detection Technologies

Around the globe, there are dozens of vehicle detection technologies being utilized. From rubber hoses to lasers and everything in between. One of the most common vehicle detection systems is an induction loop.

Other Induction Loop Applications

Although Diablo Controls works primarily in traffic, parking, and access, the induction loop can be used in a variety of other applications, such as:

  • Audio. An induction loop provides assistance to those who use hearing aids.
  • Metal Detection. An induction loop is used in some metal detectors, and that’s what triggers the detector when induction changes due to metal being on the person or item being passed through.

How An Induction Loop Functions

As the name infers, an inductive loop works by monitoring a change in induction. What’s more, if you were to take the inductor out of the loop, you would have a flashlight. The induction within the loop is created by the building and releasing of current. What releases the current in a vehicle induction loop? When a vehicle slows to a stop at a light, they open the induction loop that’s buried in the road, causing a change in induction. This signals the traffic light that there is a vehicle stopped at the light.

  • The capacity of the induction loop is measured in two ways:
  • Number of coils
  • The core (what the coils are wrapped around).

Understanding Induction Loops Via Electromagnets

An electromagnet is relatively simple to understand. It consists of a length of wire — typically copper — that is wrapped around a stick of metal. These two items may seem like a jumbled mess in a pile on the floor, but when you introduce electricity, a magnetic field is created.

This is the similar process within an induction loop. It creates a magnetic field via the current, copper wire, and metal rod. When that magnetic field changes due to a vehicle stopping above it, the change is noted and sent to the system that controls the traffic lights.

Some would call this magic simply because they’ve not yet learned how it works. However, this is science, and it’s pretty neat.

Why Choose A Vehicle Induction Loop

If you’re searching for a viable vehicle detection loop, you can trust an induction loop. It’s one of the most commonly used traffic control products on the market. What\’s’ more, it’s reliable, long-lasting, and automates a large majority of traffic control via stop lights and intersections. When it comes to money and time, the induction loop system is a great choice.




A busy intersection can cause a lot of traffic build-up. A huge challenge for towns, cities, and metroplexes is the continuous growth of vehicle use. As vehicle use grows, traffic becomes a bigger burden on the area. A great way to reduce this burden is to automate traffic lights, controlling the flow.

Diablo Controls: Traffic Control Product Experts

After 40-plus years of leading the traffic, parking, and access control industry, Diablo Controls is a leading company globally. We provide vehicle detection loops and other traffic control products to distributors and customers around the world. Our products are reliable, dependable, and effective. Not only will you save money when you order from us, but you will receive some of the best customer service from our experts. Order online today!

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