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Video Analytics (VA) - Key to Smart Traffic Management System

Author: Dr. Raghavender Surya Upadhyayula
Published on: August 24, 2020

My workplace is just two blocks away from home. But I have colleagues who travel from various parts of Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region (NCR). On any given day, their prime concern while commuting to the workplace would be the growing number of vehicles, congestion on traffic signals, and non-systematic ways of managing the traffic flow by the authorities.

Cities across the world are expanding. The roads and highways are busier than ever before, with a record number of vehicles travelling to and from work, school, markets, and wherever the commuters need to be daily. This rise in road use has resulted in traffic-associated problems such as road accidents, parking scarcity, congestions, pollution, and waste of fuel. The introduction of connected vehicles and various road travel apps can assist in the smooth traffic flow. However, the utmost need of the hour is to have a holistic solution that uses a more evolved system that is as configurable as it is adaptable, able to take full advantage of the emerging technologies and provide optimal control of the city’s unique traffic landscape.

One of the key components in smart cities of the future is the use of Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) and Advanced Video Analytics (VA) for effective and efficient management and control of traffic flows. An integrated video analytics platform provides an operator with a clear picture of what’s happening on the roadways in real-time. This modern traffic operations platform acts as a smart transportation system manager. It is designed to reduce workload and confusion by breaking down silos so that the data coming in from multiple sources is easily interpreted. At the same time, routine tasks and maintenance can be automated, which frees up operators to focus on priority road situations as they come up.

Video Analytics can play an essential role in getting in-depth insights into the daily traffic, and these insights can help curb congestions by routing the information to the traffic management console. It can run on a central server, at the edge (built into cameras), or on a cloud-based application. VA work on two major components:

  • Movement-based Analytics helps to pick up the exact movement of the vehicle while it is in transit. This helps detect any traffic rule violations, such as red-light jumping, over-speeding, no-helmet and triple riding, etc.
  • Pattern Generation and Recognition helps to recognize the object within a video frame. Specific patterns or objects can be programmed to be recognized within the frame. This helps in vehicle classification, pedestrian detection, fallen objects, etc.

Traditional traffic monitoring procedures are manual, expensive, time-consuming, and involve human operators. They are subjective due to the involvement of the human and sometimes provide inaccurate/incomplete monitoring results. Recent advances in data storage, processing, and communications have made it possible to store and process vast volumes of video data and develop applications that are neither subjective nor limited in feature sets. It is now possible to implement object detection and tracking, behavioural analysis of traffic patterns, number plate recognition, and automate security and surveillance on video streams produced by traffic monitoring and surveillance cameras.

EFKON India's VA is a reliable video analytics designed for effective highway management and city surveillance to detect, track, and analyze moving or stationary objects. Our VA based vehicle detector captures real-time traffic information on road occupancy, queue length, vehicle density, count, and class. The system helps capture real-time incidents via alarms in the control room, allowing a quick response. EFKON plays a leadership role in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications in the domain of Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA). With the growing use of IVA in Smart Cities infrastructure, we are making herculean efforts to integrate our expertise in the IVA domain with the existing applications.

To make our roads safer and ensuring a smooth traffic flow, our VA platform finds application in detecting:

  • Stalled/stopped vehicles
  • Vehicles coming from the opposite direction
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • Over speeding and under speeding
  • Crowd gathering
  • Weather status like normal conditions, smoke or fog
  • Acceleration/deacceleration
  • Traffic status like congestion, dense, delay, stop and go, normal, etc.
  • No helmets and triple riding

While our highways and roads already are “smart” in a lot of ways, we can look forward to a future where analytics ensure our roads are intelligent in a way that is useful to normal people.