Next Generation Vehicle Detection Technology

Roads and motorways are an integral part of Australian infrastructure and without proper management, congestion, accidents and road closures are bound to worsen. Vehicle detection is a critical part of monitoring and optimising traffic flows for intelligent transport systems. Access to cost effective and accurate detectors delivering real-time data is vital. In 2020, Smart Cities recognise that getting the balance between investing in new transport modes and optimising existing assets is a must.

Traditionally, intersections and arterial roads are monitored using inductive loop vehicle detectors, which are installed beneath the pavement or roadway surface, requiring invasive installation and maintenance that involves traffic stoppage in order to complete the work. In heavy traffic areas, loops are frequently damaged and are expensive to replace. Enter an opportunity for advanced above ground detection technologies.

Smart cities wanting to reduce C02 emissions can choose a single traffic radar sensor with object tracking microwave technology to measure vehicle velocity, position, lane, direction and angle. Using a smart traffic radar enables road authorities to install a safe, versatile and reliable technology on existing roadside or overhead gantry infrastructure. This reduces the impact to road users and provides usable real-time traffic data for intersections in addition to driving adaptive traffic signal controllers. smartmicro traffic radars are highly configurable, using a forward firing detection technology which provides highly accurate performance across a significant range of up to 8 lanes and distances of more than 300m. The small enclosure is IP67, low power at <10W and can operate in a temperature range from -40oC to 85oC.

Recently an Australian department of transport chose the smartmicro UMRR-0C Type 42 premium radar which was installed on the side of the motorway. Due to the location of installation, no road or lane closures were required, allowing through traffic to continue as normal. The smart radar was installed using a tilt-over pole angled to cover traffic flowing in both directions. As the smartmicro radar is located on the side of the road, this allows easy access for installation and calibration. Once the radar has been installed it requires no regular maintenance at all. As only one detector was required for all 6 lanes of traffic in both directions, the smartmicro radar is an economical choice. It cuts down on the number of products needed, enables lower product lifecycle cost (eg civil work, loop maintenance or replacement) and traffic control costs. Most critically, other benefits include reduced inconvenience for road users and lessens the economic impact of lost productivity through congestion and downtime.

The smartmicro Preium Products can do more than just count vehicles for multiple zones. The radar has the capabilities to measure specific vehicle data, such as, vehicle class, length, speed, direction, gap and headway. It is also able to trigger on events such as a vehicle headed in the wrong direction, queue length build-up, ETA to a measure point and incident detection such as a fall in speed. Each radar can track up to 256 objects simultaneously within the field of view. Edge processing can be performed onsite using an industrial PC, which has the advantage of being able to buffer and store data if communication is lost to the data centre. During the night-time hours and adverse weather events, the radar can continually and accurately make real-time detections.

smartmicro is an integrated smart solution for traffic management at intersections and on motorways. Late 2020 will see the release of the next generation UMRR-12 TRUGRD Stream which combines a radar sensor and a video camera. smartmicro is a specialist manufacturer in radar technology for traffic and automotive applications. The company was founded in Germany in 1997, and has produced over 75,000 traffic radars for the transport sector and continues to invest heavily in R&D.

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