Rapidly Deployable Low-Cost Traffic Data and Video Collection Device


Jory Schwach, Ted Morris, Panos Michalopoulos

December 2009

Report no. CTS 09-21

Transportation practitioners, planners and researchers lack the availability of an easily deployable, non-intrusive, portable, low-cost device for traffic data collection and video recording at intersections and arterials as well as temporary remote surveillance. The necessary data usually includes volumes, speeds, classification, turning movements, queue size and length, conflicting movements, and time headways. They also include recording of traffic characteristics, accidents and other special situations. A visual record of traffic characteristics at intersections, arterials, or other locations can also be used for extensive analysis and research leading to improved safety and control practices. In this report, the development and demonstration of a low-cost, practical, rapidly deployable video recording and data collection device is presented along with the design, deployment, and data extraction process. Its major advantage at intersections is that only one unit can cover an entire intersection up to 5 lanes per incoming approach wide (20 incoming lanes total), which should be sufficient for the overwhelming majority of intersections. In addition it has the potential of extracting turning movements automatically including optional lanes through advanced machine vision or radar sensors.

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ITS Institute (RITA)