Automatic Passenger Counting in the HOV Lane


Ioannis Pavlidis , Peter Symosek , Vassilios Morellas , Bernard Fritz , Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos , Robert Sfarzo

June 1999

Report no. Mn/DOT 2000-06

This research applied wave band and computer vision methods to automatically count vehicle occupants in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane at a high level of accuracy. The research showed that use of near-infrared bandwidth offers potential as a method for developing an automatic vehicle occupant counting system. Near-infrared only can produce images when looking through glass, but not metal or heavy clothes, which limits its accuracy in counting children or occupants resting in vehicles. The mid-infrared camera did not produce clear images at highway speeds. The next step involves additional research into a working device that can count vehicle occupants reliably, including analysis of device performance with more types of vehicles, passengers in the back seats, children in car seats, and passengers lying down.

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