​Dahua Technology fortifies traffic management with ITS

​Dahua Technology fortifies traffic management with ITS
It’s a trend for global city governments to adopt advanced traffic management systems to improve traffic safety and efficiency. This is particularly so for Asia, where the need to manage traffic has become more urgent amid rapid urbanization. In this regard, Dahua Technology offers complete traffic management solutions to help municipal governments improve traffic and enforce law with more effectiveness.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have been deployed to address transportation- related challenges for years. ITS combines computer, electronics and communication technologies to provide more innovations on road transport. The system enables better traffic control and closer interaction between drivers and traffic authorities, pedestrians and traffic management systems. Dahua Technology has built on its video surveillance experience and expertise to offer traffic management solutions, which have been implemented in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Asia remains fast-growing region

The Asia-Pacific region is considered to have much higher growth rate as far as ITS is concerned. Rio Mao, APAC Sales Director for Overseas Business at Dahua Technology, sees more growth potential in developing countries like China, India and other ASEAN countries, rather than developed countries like Japan, Korea and Singapore, in the following years.

According to Mao, a major growth driver for ITS is the region’s high GDP growth, which triggers related investments. “In China, city governments are willing to put much investment on traffic management systems. We see that there are thousands of cameras and signal systems on the roads in just one district in Hangzhou,” he said.

Meanwhile, certain Asian countries’ national development initiatives are another driving factor. As an example, Mao cited India’s Smart City Mission, which aims to build 100 smart cities throughout the country to upgrade urban cities. The plan includes basic transport infrastructure and IP communication infrastructure, which indicates the increasing investments on traffic management systems.

Dahua’s solutions

To enable municipal administrators to better manage traffic and enforce law, Dahua Technology has designed total solutions ranging from red light enforcement to vehicle-adapted control system. These solutions are summarized below.

Red light enforcement

Needless to say, red light enforcement is a critical element in traffic management, with statistics suggesting every year, 21.5 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by running red lights.

Currently, most red light enforcement solutions entail the use of underground sensors which carry various disadvantages. For example, grounds need to be dug up to bury the sensor. Dahua’s red light enforcement solution, on the other hand, centers on video. At the core of the solution is a system that synchronizes the status of red light signals with the triggering signal to the camera. When a violation occurs, the Dahua all-in-one capture camera takes three images of the violation to be used as evidence. These images include the vehicle license plate, status of traffic signal and an overview of the scene. Afterwards, the DSS management and storage platform collects the data from each camera and distributes it to client operators for further processing.

According to Mao, Dahua’s solution offers several advantages. Firstly, road works are not needed, and the overall aesthetics of the area can be maintained. Secondly, there’s clear evidence that the vehicle has run a red light. Also, Mao explains that a major strength of Dahua’s solution lies in the fact that the intelligence resides inside the camera.

“Previously, the intelligent algorithms are primarily integrated in the backend servers. Now, we are putting the smartness on the frontend in the cameras,” he said. “If we rely on the server to analyze the data, the equipment cost will be huge. Transmission fee will also be significant as the entire video needs to be transmitted to the backend.”

ANPR and multi-targeting radar

Speeding has been one major cause of traffic injuries. Traffic enforcement systems are critical to suppress violations and ensure road safety. Dahua’s smart camera with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology can detect car speeds with enhanced accuracy up to 99.8 percent at a distance between 2 and 5 kilometers. Dahua’s ANPR camera captures the plate number and time at the section start and end, and then forwards the information to the DSS to evaluate the average velocity of each passing vehicle.

To enhance detection performance, Dahua Technology introduced a multi-target tracking radar technology which supports accurate instant speed measurement of each passing vehicle. “With high-precision 3D radar, the technology can measure driving speeds of multiple vehicles in different lanes in real time, tracking up to 60 objects simultaneously,” Mao said.

Dahua’s speed measuring system consists of an 8-MP CCD camera and multi-target tracking radar. “When a vehicle runs over the speed limit and triggers the radar, the camera will capture details such as the car’s plate number, vehicle type and lane number. We provide portable and fixed installations for point speed detection and section speed detection,” Mao said. “The portable solution provides traffic polices mobility to move to different points as necessary.”

Bus lane enforcement

Cars and trucks travelling and parking in bus lanes result in unnecessary congestion on the roads and decrease the efficiency of buses. “At first, we need to distinguish public buses from cars and trucks,” Mao said. “Our camera captures both the license plate number and a color snapshot of the vehicle that crosses into the bus lane, and then uploads the images to the DSS platform and checks the vehicle list to see if they are on the list of permitted vehicles provided by the vehicle registration database.”

He added that in many countries, car license plates are classified by type. “For example, the license plates of cars and trucks are blue, and those of public buses are yellow in China,” he said. “The DSS can also classify vehicles by custom rules or plate color. Of course, you can put a camera in the front of a bus to shoot vehicles ahead. Then, you can use the videos to verify the violations.”

Real-time traffic status display

Millions of people deal with traffic congestion on a daily basis. The roadways leading into and out of most major cities can become gridlocked due to accidents, road construction, or simply a high number of cars on the road. To better inform drivers of the road status or what lies ahead has therefore become critical. Dahua’s real-time traffic status display aims to play an important role in this regard.

The solution entails three processes: traffic data collection, whereby traffic data is collected by traffic flow cameras which can cover one to four lanes at a time and has a 99 percent detection accuracy at speeds below 80 km/h; traffic data processing, whereby an advanced traffic flow information analysis algorithm analyzes a city’s traffic conditions in real time and displays results on special road signs in colors of red, yellow and green to represent the speed of traffic flow, helping drivers select the best travel route; and information dissemination, which can also help guide traffic with additional information types including road restrictions, weather, road status and emergencies. These are then displayed in various formats, including text information, road map information and live video information, to the driver.

Self-adaptive system enhances traffic efficiency

Long traffic queues during rush hours have been a pain in the neck for road users. At present, many signal controllers are unable to automatically adjust signal timing based on real-time traffic flows. “Through traffic flow detection and signal control, our solution can enable efficient dynamic light management and avoid heavy traffic to clog the roads,” Mao said.

Dahua’s vehicle-adapted control system (VACS) is an adaptive traffic signal control system to reduce vehicle idle time. The system collects traffic data to respond to the changes in the road conditions quickly without a central software platform. “The smart cameras detect average velocity of each passing vehicles, headway and queue length around intersections. After the data is collected, the system will adjust signals based on real traffic data like extending traffic light intervals to ease long vehicle queues on the road intersections,” Mao explained. “We also provide multi-site signal control solutions in China. Through a central control platform, the system analyzes the collected traffic data from different places and then makes proper decisions.”

The role of AI

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been widely introduced, improving the performance of traffic management systems. In this regard, Dahua Technology has also embedded AI and deep learning technologies in their traffic management solution.

Mao cited as an example India, where license plate number can range from 1 to 13 digits, some of them handwritten, rendering conventional technology nearly impossible for recognition. “Now, we have pushed our deep learning technology in India, and the problems that they faced in terms of license plate recognition have been solved,” he said.

AI’s benefits are manifold and go beyond license plate recognition. A car’s make, model and color can all be learned via deep learning technology to solve problems for end users. “For example, if you have two vehicles with the same license plate number, one of them must be using a fake license plate. So the system can go back and check what was the make and model of the vehicle with the real license plate number, and identify the wrongdoer,” Mao said. “Besides cars, different driving behaviors, for example talking on the phone while driving or whether the driver is wearing the seatbelt, can be identified via deep learning algorithms, helping municipal administrators enforce law more effectively.”

Moving into smarter future

Government traffic authorities are committed to tackling traffic offenses to ease traffic accidents and congestions. Certainly, adding more intelligence into the traffic management systems has been an unstoppable trend around the world to improve roadway safety and traffic efficiency. As a pioneer in the AI-enabled intelligent traffic system development, Dahua Technology has shown continuous devotion to innovative technologies. We can expect Dahua Technology to create more and more cutting-edge solutions to improve traffic management in the years to come.
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