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What is the accuracy of small UAVs in traffic measuring?

New research paper called “How accurate are small drones for measuring microscopic traffic parameters?” published in Transportation Letters Journal can provide an answer. Adam Babinec, one of the main IT developers standing behind DataFromSky solution, co-author of the article conducted by University of Athens and Brno University of Technology, says:
„With this paper, we wanted to examine the potential of using sUAV as part of the ITS infrastructure as a way of extracting naturalistic trajectory data from aerial video footage from a low volume intersection and a pedestrian passage. Moreover, we have examined the accuracy of speed data collected from a drone compared to data collected from an On-Board Diagnostics II (OBD-II) device.”

The results show, that the distortion correction and calibration phase of the video are of crucial importance for high level of accuracy, in terms of stabilizing and geo-referencing the video. In order to extract accurate data from drone video footage, each aerial video must be stabilized to compensate for camera movement, since sudden vibrations or small wind gusts can lead to large errors on the ground.


Picture: a lightweight hexacopter (left), study area – low volume intersection in University of Athens campus (right)

The research paper is accessible on this page.

The accuracy of DataFromSky system itself was examined in another research paper, created in collaboration with Faculty of Information Technology and Faculty of Civil Engineering at Brno University of Technology and posted in International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, for more information click here.

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Multicriteria selection of trajectories in DFS Viewer

How to apply multicriteria selection for all trajectories and choose only the ones you want? With DataFromSky Viewer – sofisticated software for advanced traffic data interpretation and visualization, you are able to create not only the simple Origin Destination Matrix, but with advanced setttings, the multi-criteria selection for the trajectories can be applied.

Following gif presents detailed process, how to do it:

Usecase shown in the gif
If you want to track particular path and see how many vehicles have used that combination, a selection tool can be used.
In step 1, selection criteria for Entry and Exit gate were defined and all the trajectories, which have not used this combination were removed. After this selection, 4 trajectories remain.
Step 2 – As we wanted to know, how many cars leaving the service station in the South exit will turn right on the crossroad, another selection critera was applied. This condition specifies that only trajectories, which have used the combination Entry gate: south exit of the service station and Exit gate: turning right on the traffic lights, will be shown. Finally, only 2 trajectories left, which fulfill all the above defined criteria.

Why is the multi-criteria selection useful?
– show only the trajectories you want
– monitor and analyze traffic behavior in a defined way
– monitor time cars spend in service station / facilities
– find traffic patterns, identify problematic zones

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DataFromSky traffic analysis in United Arab Emirates

DataFromSky has recently analyzed several traffic videos collected in United Arab Emirates, near cities of Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Output from one of these analysis may be seen below, or on our Vimeo channel. This analysis proves, that our system is adapted and capable of analyzing the videos in various weather conditions, including very dusty or sandy environment such the one in Emirates, as proven in the video.

Moreover, in recent times, our team of DataFromSky is working on development of realtime UAV solution – drone analyzer, that will be able to provide accurate traffic data right off. The main objective is to design the cutting edge technology: an UAV based solution for the purpose of active traffic management over a road network. The solution will be capable of providing real time video monitoring and traffic data collection on the road, starting with the simple vehicle counting, monitoring of traffic density, actual speed and acceleration, up to the vehicle number plate recognition. One of the specific and useful feature will be possibility to identify near accidents and collisions (identify dangerous behaviour of road users, slow moving traffic, stopped vehicles, traffic jam etc.).

Keep following our website and social pages to watch our progress (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)!

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DataFromSky participated in Industrial Day event in Přerov

Our team attended the event called “Industrial Day”, held between 21. and 22. 7. 2017 in local airport of Přerov. We presented our work and capabilities at the seminar on “UAV/UGV and its use in Security”, an event dedicted to introduction and presentation of cutting edge technologies to support the use of robotic and unmanned systems in the development of Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for the Czech Armed Forces. We demonstrated our technology DataFromSky for tracking the moving object in the aerial video data and also our project related to perimeter security with a drone.

The event has been organized and supported by Ministry of Defence of Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Department of Industrial Cooperation and Organization Management (SPSŘO), LOM PRAHA and the Association of Defence and Security Industry (AOBP).

We are delighted, that our solutions have attracted many participants of the event and that we have met with a very positive feedback!

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Complete traffic analysis in Dalmine, Italy

DataFromSky in cooperation with Trafficlab, conducted an important and complex traffic analysis in Italy, over the motorway junction of Dalmine (Bergamo), near the A4 motorway (Torino – Trieste), and the highway SS470. With the aid of a special balloon (Immagini al Volo) and DataFromSky, it was possible to obtain a complete picture of the performance of the vehicles during the morning peak hours (7.00 – 9.00).

In particular, the studied elements are 4 junctions: 3 roundabout and 1 multi-level junction, directly connected to the motorway.

Through the traffic flows obtained, it was possible to create an OD-matrix for every junction and for every type of vehicle (bicycles, motorcycles, cars, medium vehicles, high vehicles, buses), to extrapolate information about the behaviour of every vehicle, such as acceleration, speed, time gap, time to follow; all these data are available for every route and every type of vehicle. The acceleration and the maximum and minimum speed values represent a valid help for the creation of a traffic simulation on the junction that were considered. The results are great with a minimum difference between the number of entering vehicles and the number of exiting vehicles (it has to be considered that the surveys were conducted in different times and days).

Another peculiarity of this tool is to give the possibility to elaborate vehicle’s trajectories with a GIS software. The trajectories are connected to a geo-database that contains all the information about the vehicle and its behaviour (shape files).

It is interesting to focus on the incorrect behaviour of road users with the help of the object presence alert, the new special feature of DataFromSky Viewer. For example, it was possible to see that a vehicle crossed the roundabout in the opposite direction!

Finally, thanks to an in-depth analysis of the Copert model about pollutant emissions, it was possible to define the quantities of pollutants released into the atmosphere by the traffic flow of the considered area: CO [kg], Non methane VOC – HC [kg], PM [kg], NOx [kg], CO2[kg] e Fuel Consumption [kg].



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New possibility of recording aerial video: special traffic balloon!

DataFromSky introduces new way how to record video to obtain high-quality data for advanced traffic analysis. New, specially developed balloon for accurate data collection brings many advantages, including:

  • Fixed long-term monitoring (usable in persistant traffic monitoring, perimeter security)
  • Up to 3 hours of operating time
  • Transmits data in HD resolution
  • Stabilized optical system – 4k image resolution
  • Maximal reachable altitude: 200 meteres
  • Covered area: up to 300 000 sq.m. (from max. altitude)
  • Fast deployment: in 25 minutes
  • Space saving, easy transportable

  • The camera is attached to a balloon inflated with gas – 3m3 of helium. This solution is very good alternative in cases, where using a drone is limited and too difficult to get authorizations. One of the biggest benefit of recording the video with the balloon is the time, for which it can be in the operating mode. Compared to standard drones, which often lasts in the air only 25 to 40 minutes, this balloon is able to hover over the intersection / traffic node for up to 3 hours and thus can provide very informative and interesting data. In this way one can have a wider vision that allows to report potentially critical situations and to find out how to solve them.

    For more information about this new special traffic balloon, please contact us.

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    Announcement of new partners of DataFromSky!

    The whole team of DataFromSky is proud to announce new exclusive partnerships in BENELUX and Spain!
    We have gained new strategic partners to start a thriving cooperation with – Roelofs & Aplygenia, welcome on board with DataFromSky!

    ROELOFS

    Roelofs Groep is a modern company with a 57-year history in the Dutch infrastructure. They focus on sustainable innovation of infrastructure, belonging into leading infrastructure specialist in Netherlands. They are involved in various projects in the fields of energy & environment, resources, ecology, mobility, sewage and infrastructure engineering. DataFromSky will cooperate with Roelofs in region of BENELUX – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. The contact persons for Roelofs are:

  • Mr. T. Adema: t.adema@roelofsgroep.nl
  • Mr. M. Grit: m.grit@roelofsgroep.nl
    APLYGENIA

    APLYGENIA is a young Spanish company run by road engineers with extensive experience in civil engineering, urban planning and building, that applies the latest technological advances to these fields of knowledge in search of optimization of traditional work procedures, safety of operations and of the implementation of new technologies. The cooperation between Aplygenia and DataFromSky is performed in regions of Spain, direct contact for Aplygenia is shown bellow:

  • Mr. J. C. Vadillo Martín: jcvadillom@aplygenia.es
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  • New version of DataFromSky Viewer brings special features!

    New enhanced version of our software tool for advanced data interpretation and visualization – DataFromSky Viewer – comes up with few very useful and special features! We have added new functionality: Object presence alert.

    By a polygon you can define a zone with guarded objects – you can even create conditions under which the alert will appear. This functionality transforms DataFromSky to a perfect mobile solution for monitoring of areas of interest such as airports, military establishments, border lines and other areas with increased demands for flexible protection against penetration of intruders. If you want to get more information about the current state of development, please do not hesitate to contact us using any of our contact details!

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    DataFromSky analyzes the traffic safety in school areas

    Our solution can be used for tracking not only cars and various vehicles, but also for tracking other objects and traffic participants, for example pedestrians or bicycles. Our partner from Denmark – traffic engineering company COWI – is currently studying and analyzing the behaviour of traffic participants in surroundings of schools and kindergartens in Denmark by using DataFromSky for the analysis. It would provide a new and systematic overview of the situation during the morning peak hour, when many students arrive to school at the same time. More detailed, they are searching for some inappropriate and dangerous behaviour of road users and other participants of the traffic, which includes all the parents driving their children to schools, school buses, bikes, motorbikes, other vehicles passing by the neighbourhood and all the pedestrians. Based on this analysis it is easier to formulate some proposals of changes which should be adopted by schools to protect the safety of schoolchildren. This analysis can also lead to better decision making done by municipalities, whether to build a new crossing or add some safety features etc.

    If you want to read more about this analysis and its application, visit this website, where you can find the whole article: https://cowicitycreators.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/hvor-farlig-er-skolevejen-naar-vi-ser-den-fra-luften/#more-2643

    An example of mapping the behaviour of traffic users is shown in the pictures below, where different user types have different color and each line shows the traffic flow for one trajectory.

    (1.)
    (2.)
    Picture: Before (1.) and after (2.) changes: Each line shows one trajectory. Pedestrians (blue), cyclists (red), drivers (green).

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    DataFromSky joins the conference TIS ROMA 2017

    DataFromSky will participate in the International Congress on Transport infrastructure and systems (TIS) held in Rome in April 10.to 12.! You have a great chance to see DataFromSky in action and assess its capabilities. Don’t hesitate and visit the TIS conference in Rome to find out more!

    One of the main topic discussed on the conference will be the emissions caused by traffic and their impact on human health. The EU Commission is preparing a strategy for clean transport, which should become effective after 2020 and it is in compliance with the strategy proposal for low-emission transport. One of the significant impulses is the increasing air pollution in cities and a high share (up to one third) of road transport in the creation of greenhouse gases. Nowadays, the total share of transport in the creation of greenhouse gases is around 23% (according to data collected by EUROSTAT).

    What we are going to present on the Congress, is the possible approaches to solve this topical issue by using data obtained from the DataFromSky software for modelling of intensities and emission from traffic. This tool uses real traffic information about the monitored traffic area, such as the type of the passing vehicles, speed, acceleration profile or traffic density. Using these mentioned data, application of the DataFromSky software to measure the emission load in cities is currently being dealt with. The aim is to create a supporting tool for traffic control, which is in accordance with the Smart Cities concept and leads to reducing the emission load from traffic. We actively collaborate on this project with top researchers from Institute of Forensic Engineering of Brno University of Technology (doc. Ing. Vladimir Adamec, Csc. & Ing. Barbora Schullerova, Ph.D.) . This issue opens the door for further research and implementation in traffic research.

    Other participant of the conference will be Andrea Marella, engineer at TrafficLab, our service partner from Italy. His paper “Implementing traffic simulation models with aerial traffic survey” descibes the method how to obtain both a complex set of data of OD matrix and detailed human driver behaviours data in order to set a specific scenario simulation. DataFromSky tool was involved and used in this research as well.

    The whole program of the conference and the list of participants can be found here

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