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Ipsotek IRID helps bust traffic congestion in London

Ipsotek IRID helps bust traffic congestion in London
Transport for London (TfL) aims to reduce congestion and carry out 'real-time' traffic management, while at the same time, provide up-to-date traffic information to the media and other highway authorities in London. Ipsotek worked closely with them to develop a new video analytics technology that can automatically detect traffic build-up and alert traffic operators to quickly implement congestion-relieving procedures.

IRID system and Automatic Detection
In the past, TfL's London Traffic Control Center (LTCC) traffic operators had to manually look through more than 1,200 cameras for congestion issues. Because of this, traffic situations were often not spotted until they became severe congestion incidents - with the obvious severe delay effect on traffic movements across the capital.

Ipsotek's image recognition and incident detection (IRID) system constantly analyzes video streams from existing traffic monitoring cameras. It ignores 'background' image details, which are of no interest, such as trees and lamp columns and analyzes the behavior of the remaining 'foreground' objects, specifically stationary or slow vehicles. Once a problem is automatically detected by the system, TfL’s traffic operators are able to implement traffic signal timing plans to clear any impending congestion. Traffic signals can be coordinated to keep traffic away from an area, or help to move the flow of vehicles around an incident safely.

Currently, the system is linked to cameras at 20 known congestion 'hotspots'in London, including Battersea Bridge and Marylebone Road. It did not require any additional on-street infrastructure, as it uses the existing traffic cameras.

Effective management
A key benefit to using the IRID system at the LTCC is that it works in the background and only requires a response from the user when alerted to a potential problem. This means that operators are able to focus their efforts on keeping London traffic moving, and not reactively looking for traffic problems. The IRID system is also pre-configured with a 'definition' of congestion, which can be variable by location, time of day, or day of week, or even season. The alerts are activated when the real-time traffic images match one of these definitions.

Groundbreaking solution
The powerful algorithms within Ipsotek's IRID have proven their worth in all weather conditions. This  capability is an essential benefit, as the occurrence of accidents are greatest during adverse weather, requiring extra vigilance to ensure that the roads are kept clear and traffic moving.

With a planned expansion to the scheme, this technology will continue to benefit London's road users, and will see the development by TfL spread to benefit other cities across the UK.

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