veloloop traffic light sensor trigger for bicycles

We’ve all been there…standing astride our bike over the rectangular grooves cut into the asphalt in front of the stop line, hoping beyond hope that we’ll trigger the traffic light to turn green. Sadly, it ain’t gonna happen. Your bike simply doesn’t have the magnetic signature of a two-ton car.

Until now, that is. The Veloloop is a low power transmitter that detects the inductive loop sensors in the ground and transmits a signal similar to what would bounce off a vehicle. That tells the sensor that someone’s waiting for the light, triggering it to change green.

It runs on two AA batteries and should last for more than a year since it only kicks on when it detects the transmitters and when you’ve stopped rolling. There’s even a light to let you know when you’re on top of the sensors…

veloloop traffic light sensor trigger for bicycles

Help fund them on Kickstarter here and get one for just $99. Pony up a bit more and you’ll get your choice of black, blue or yellow loops.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! I’ve been dreaming/wishing for something like this for years. Let’s hope it gets smaller. Key fob sized? Hidden in carbon frames?

  2. This seems like a really complicated and bulky solution compared to the inch long rare earth magnets motorcyclists have been using to trip traffic lights for years.

  3. Hit YouTube for the instructional video “How To Trigger a Traffic Light on your Bike”. The only people who need this are rocking full carbon rims, and I just don’t see them pairing the two.

  4. @slow joe – Perhaps the fact that motorcycles can have 500kg of inductive materials in them to begin with might have something to do with that.

  5. One of the reasons I love commuting on a steel frame. It may not have the “magnetic signature of a two-ton car”, but it’s enough to trigger lights. Noticeably easier than when I’m on a carbon rig.

  6. Most of the municipalities in my area have been replacing loop sensors with optical (camera) sensors. This device would be largely useless in my area.

  7. There’s a couple of lights at side streets here in the Seattle area that absolutely fail to change for cyclists no matter how long you wait. Out of frustration I eventually called the police departments in both of those communities to ask how you’re supposed to legally handle such a situation and both informed me that under Washington state law the light can be considered defective in such a situation and you can legally proceed through the red light provided you yield the right of way and it is safe to do so. Makes this device a bit pointless in such a situation. I suspect the law is similar in other states.

  8. Be nice if they could make the transmitter more powerful so it could be smaller. Maybe have it connected to the hub with a thin wire to the rim. Then use the rim and the antena for it.

  9. Check your state laws:

    States with safe-on-red laws

    Arkansas – In effect since 2005, state law allows a motorcyclist to proceed with caution, after coming to a full and complete stop, through a red light that fails to detect the bike. (Arkansas Code section 27-52-206)
    Idaho – (2006) If a signal fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic light that a motorcyclist may proceed, using due caution and care, after coming to a full and complete stop at the intersection. (Statute 49-802)
    Illinois – (2012) Permits a driver of a motorcycles or bicycle facing a red light that fails to change within a reasonable period of time of not less than 120 seconds to proceed after yielding the right-of-way to any oncoming traffic. However, this law doesn’t apply to municipalities of over 2,000,000 people – such as Chicago. (625 ILCS 5/11-306)
    Minnesota – (2002) A person operating a bicycle or motorcycle who runs a red light has an affirmative defense if the driver first came to a complete stop, the traffic light stayed red for an unreasonable amount of time and appeared not to detect the vehicle and no motor vehicles or people were approaching the street. (Statute 169.06)
    Missouri – (2009) State law tells both motorcyclists and bicyclists that run red lights that they have an affirmative defense if they brought their vehicle to a complete stop, the light was red for an unreasonable time period, and there were no motor vehicle or person approaching. (Statute 304.285)
    Nevada – (2013) Those using motorcycles, bicycles, mopeds, and tri-mobiles are allowed to proceed through an intersection with a red light after waiting for two traffic light cycles, and they yield to other vehicle traffic or pedestrians. (Statute 484B.307)
    North Carolina – (2007) Motorcyclists are permitted to move cautiously through a steady red light after coming to a complete stop and waiting a minimum of three minutes and if no other vehicle or pedestrians are approaching the intersection. (NCGS 20-158)
    Oklahoma – (2010) Motorcycles can proceed cautiously through a steady red light intersection after a making a complete stop and if no other motor vehicle or person is approaching the roadway. (Statute 47-11-202)
    South Carolina – (2008) After making a complete stop and waiting for a minimum of 120 seconds, the driver of a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle may treat a steady red light that doesn’t change as a stop sign and proceed with caution. (S.C. Code 56-5-970)
    Tennessee – (2003) After coming to a complete stop, motorcyclists and bicyclists may proceed through a steady red light when it is safe to do so. (Tennessee Traffic Control Signals 55-8-110)
    Virginia – (2011) Drivers of motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles may move with caution through non-responsive red lights as long as they yield the right-of-way to others approaching the intersection, and have come to a complete stop for two complete light cycles or 120 seconds, whichever is shorter.(Statute 46-2-833)
    Wisconsin – (2006) A motorcycle, moped or bicycle is permitted to run a steady red light after making a complete stop and waiting at least 45 seconds and then yields the right–of-way to any vehicular traffic or pedestrians using the intersection. (Statute 346.37)

  10. Chris L,

    You might try calling the department of transportation. They can tune the sensors to pick up bicycles. My city recently went through the lights on all the bike routes and triggering is much better.

  11. If magnets worked, every commuter bike would have them pre-installed, and we would have to keep magnets away from wi-fi laptops, routers, radios, and cellphones. This is not the case because wi-fi, bluetooth, and radio devices run at high frequencies, just like inductive loop sensors. I put a video online to demonstrate magnets vs. the Veloloop. It’s at http://youtu.be/GM0A8lNAu5Y

    The beta testers all love their Veloloops not just because it triggers the light and their parking lot gates for them, but also because it confirms with the LED when they’re in the correct spot, so there’s no wondering about whether they’ll get the green or not. I’m working on a video to better explain how happy they are with the Veloloop.

  12. I have found that traffic light sensors pick up my bicycle. Some lights are timed around here, so they don’t help, but for the sensor ones, we have no issues locally. Is this more of a regional design specific problem?

  13. This is rubbish! Don’t pay. Most bikes already trip the sensor. If yours does not, just fix one of those tiny rare earth magnets under your bottom bracket. What a waste of time!

  14. I used to drive oversize and one rig had a strobe that would trip lights immediately like emergency vehicles, need to find one for my helmet. I occasionally ride in Idaho and there you can run lights once you stop, stop signs mean yeald so you can run those, great bike laws.

  15. Thanks Champs !!! I have been riding for years and never heard any of that Info on triggering lights ,can’t wait to try it out .Thanks again

  16. I agree more integration would be better. Can it be smaller via phone app Ant+ and antenna? Antenna on/ integrated on wheel or wrapped on crank or third bottle cage or rack or rear triangle sticker antenna …Oops, I talk fast when excited. Cool product, even if legal; rolling through a red light isn’t safer.
    Ride today, ride tomorrow…

  17. There are plenty of lights I avoid because I cant trip them even when I’m standing directly over the loops with my steel bike with steel racks and cheap steel spindle pedals. Some lights I can trigger if I lay my bike on its side over the sensors but that sucks. Sometimes I even have a car behind me but they’re so terrified of a bike in the lane and oblivious to how sensors work that they refuse to pull forward.

    Right now my best choice is to pick routes where this is less of a problem, and either waiting until there is no traffic and hope I don’t get pulled over by a hidden cop, hit the crosswalk, or turn down another road and take a detour.

    I see a lot of value in a product like this. If I wasn’t already commuting on 41-57lbs of loaded bike I’d probably have ordered one.

  18. our city has been replacing all the magnetic loop cuts with camera sensors, so this thing is already becoming obsolete in my region.

  19. the rare earth magnet i use on the crank for cadence is enough to trip the lights if the crank is in the 6 o’clock position as I pass over the sensor.

    The magnet fit’s nicely on the end of the pedal on the inside of the crank and is held in place by the magnet sticking to the steel pedal axle as I’m not coughing up for titanium. A few dollars for a packet from China and no ugly zip ties.

  20. Actually what would be cool is if they hooked up the stop light button with a wifi that could be triggered from a short range and smart phone. Imagine hitting the button 1/2 block before you get there and have the light turn green just as you enter the intersection. Its amazing how much time is wasted by stop lights that are timed rather then monitoring real traffic conditions.

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