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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Detecting Traffic Incidents

A graphic representation of incident detection system components.
This "cloverleaf" represents an area with high potential for traffic incidents.
A transportation operations center for incident detection and traffic management.
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By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Systems Deployed

It is important to realize that manufacturers decide which technologies and algorithms to embed into their products. Accordingly, we look at a sampling of commercial incident detection systems, each with its attendant underpinnings:

Developed in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, ADDCO Inc.s (Saint Paul, Minn.) Virtual Transportation Operations Center (VTOC) software provides complete traffic management with data exchange over the Internet. Customized VTOC units collect data around-the-clock from a variety of sensors and CCTV cameras.

Diamond Consulting Services Limited (Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, U.K.) designs the Idris Incident Detection System to give road hazard warnings, allowing traffic management/alarm systems to be deployed and help avoid follow-on episodes. Data from outstations are combined to determine slow-moving traffic, an individual slow vehicle, congestion, vehicles traveling in the wrong direction or a single stopped vehicle anywhere along outfitted road sections.

Econolite Control Products, Inc. (Anaheim, Calif.) promotes an optional incident management module for their Pyramids system. Links within Pyramids can be assigned speed thresholds which trigger pop-up messages if an incident occurs (based on vehicle speed, derived from volume and occupancy). An event alert can be used to pre-position a remote-controlled camera to the appropriate region-of-interest.

EIS Electronic Integrated Systems Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) advances their Freeway Traffic Management System (FTMS). FTMS is a PC-based, low-cost, quick-deployment solution for automatic incident recognition utilizing multiple Remote Traffic Microwave Sensors in side- or forward-looking configurations with 0.5-km (0.31-mile) spacing between stations. Data are collected at thirty-second intervals, displayed on several screens and analyzed in realtime. Detected incidents generate an alarm, are portrayed graphically, cue video cameras and prompt the operator to file an accounting, which is logged for subsequent review.



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