Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Top 5 Useful Features of a Traffic Monitoring System

Traffic monitoring systems help make our lives and travels safer and more convenient.

As the world becomes more populated with people and their vehicles, traffic becomes more and more a factor in our lives, especially in urban centers and environments.

In this article, we’ll discuss the specific aspects of these monitoring systems that we find most beneficial in our daily lives.

We’ll consider:

Speed and other safety violations
High-speed automatic toll collection
Automated parking access controls
Access controls to high-security locations
Massive connected databases to make nationwide and worldwide traffic monitoring a reality

We’ll also show you some examples of these control systems, which implement ANPR cameras provided by Adaptive Recognition – a company that has been a significant player in the ANPR market for decades.

Monitoring Speed, Red Light Violators, and Other Hazards

Among the most severe threats to traffic safety are speeders and other violators of traffic rules. For traffic to flow well and safely, drivers must follow a pattern of what’s expected by other drivers. Traffic rules such as speed limits, one-way streets, and traffic lights promote this smooth, safe flow.

Drivers who violate those rules surprise other drivers, causing ‘emergency’ reactions. Such reactions force more drivers to take unforeseen, evasive actions, and we have the scenario for an accident.

Traffic monitoring systems are designed to identify drivers who cause these disruptions and take steps to correct their behavior, including fines and other penalties.

These systems almost always rely on ANPR cameras in various configurations, giving many opportunities for traffic monitoring authorities to prevent accidents from happening and react fast should one occur.

Eliminating Toll Booths

If you’ve been driving for decades, you probably remember toll booths and, on major highways, multi-booth plazas where everyone had to stop and pay a toll, or at least slow down and throw a coin or token in a basket.

The traffic jams that resulted from that system tried everyone’s patience and were often the scenes of “fender-bender” accidents or even serious rear-end collisions as inattentive drivers cruising at highway speeds were surprised by a line of stopped cars.

Other undesirable results from toll booths were:

  • Toll collection agents had boring, thankless jobs rather than more productive employment
  • Frustrated and impatient drivers jockeying for position led to flared tempers and, sometimes, accidents
  • Inefficient use of fuel with starting and stopping the vehicle’s engine or leaving it idling – leading to severe environmental pollution

Tolling areas collected trash and car parts, so they became eyesores and road hazards for less attentive drivers.

When traffic monitoring cameras gained the capability of reading license plates at highway speeds, toll booths gradually disappeared.

It’s rare to see one now – at least in more developed parts of the world – except perhaps in a little-used highway exit ramp or other location that sees very light traffic.

A fine example of advanced traffic monitoring camera is Adaptive Recognition’s Vidar ANPR/ALPR camera for high-speed traffic monitoring.

For starters, a single Vidar camera can even monitor two lanes of traffic at a time, making it a more than ideal replacement for toll plazas.

In addition to that, the camera offers self-setup and diagnostics, built-in license plate recognition, laser triggering, along with optional speed measurement and make, model, and color recognition.

Parking Access Control

A “cousin” of traffic monitoring systems is parking access control systems. Since these systems play a big part in the convenience of urban life, they deserve mention here.

If you live or do business in a high population density area and use a private vehicle to move around, easy and hassle-free entry to a parking facility is important to you.

ANPR-based parking systems allow all users, including contract parkers and “drop-in” day-at-a-time parkers, to enter without the need to stop and receive a ticket or identify themselves.

When a camera reads a car’s license plate as it enters the garage, it can either recognize it as matching a database of contract parkers or create a temporary record of its entry time.

If it’s a one-time user, the entry time, and later the exit time, generate a charge which the driver can pay upon exit. The temporary record is deleted when the payment has been made.

The big advantage of using license plate recognition technology for parking systems is eliminating the need for cars to stop when they enter.

The uninterrupted flow of traffic into the facility benefits:

  • Parkers, who proceed directly to their parking space without delay
  • Garage owners, whose customers are happier and who need no human attendants to interact with parkers
  • Passing motorists and traffic authorities, who enjoy less congestion at the facility entrance.

Controlling Access to High-Security Areas

A traffic monitoring system is essential at locations where sensitive activities, data, equipment, or personnel must be protected from unauthorized visitors.

Examples of such an area are the EU and UK government facilities in London and Brussels which house people and offices that might be targets for snoopers and trouble-makers with who-knows-what intent.

In the past, the manual security checks on entering vehicles could involve manual database lookups, detailed searches of cars’ interiors and undersides, and other lengthy procedures.

A UVIScan under-vehicle scanner, ANPR cameras, and the Carmen® ANPR Image software engine combine to make a more secure traffic monitoring system that moves vehicles along without delay or denies entry to those with no legitimate business there.

City, Nation, or Worldwide Data Management

The systems we’ve covered earlier in this article generate massive amounts of data. Storing it to be useful in traffic monitoring systems is a big challenge.

The Globessey Data Server (GDS) is up to the challenge. GDS is a middleware application that can connect to databases of any size. It manages new data input and retrieves historical data to make it all useful as data accumulates.

Traffic monitoring systems include many features that help authorities control traffic to make life safer, more convenient, and enjoyable.

ANPR cameras and other plate-recognition technology are the tools of choice for many traffic monitoring functions. Adaptive Recognition has been pioneering and improving license-plate-recognition technology since its inception in 1991.

Check out their website to learn more about how these tools can support your traffic control efforts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *