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Mike On Traffic mentions DataFromSky

Mike On Traffic is a blog about “the Less Boring Side of Traffic Engineering“. DataFromSky was recently mentioned in a post called Counting Cars from the Sky: The Future of Traffic Monitoring.

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Drone traffic monitoring demonstration in Netherlands

At the beginning of July, sUAS news reported about drone traffic monitoring demonstration in Netherlands.

front page of magazine

Traffic technology International, an international web-and-print magazine, published in their June/July 2015 issue an article about UAV-based road traffic monitoring based on the Netherlands event under the title Farewell to fixed cameras?.

While the one-off demonstration showcased real-time monitoring, not analysis, it is an application of UAVs in traffic nevertheless. The article title is especially poignant for us, since drones can replace fixed cameras for both monitoring and analysis.

Meanwhile, another monitoring application is on the horizon: “The Jakarta City police to use drones to monitor traffic”. Doubtless, many more are to come…

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ISO 39001 Road Safety seminar mentions DataFromSky

At the end of July, our Italian partner, Andrea Marella of Traficlab.eu, led an online seminar about road safety titled “Road traffic safety (RTS) management system standard“. DataFromSky was mentioned as one of the best ways to gather information about driver behaviour and safety.

During 2012 the International Organization for Standardization published a new standard called: ISO 39001:2012 – Road traffic safety (RTS) management systems – Requirements with guidance for use. The ISO provides a tool to help organizations to reduce and ultimately to eliminate the incidence and risk of death and serious injury related to road traffic crashes.

The webinar in question offered the following information and training:

  • Road safety concepts
  • Road risk factors
  • ISO 39001:2012 standard requirements
  • Road traffic safety (RTS) in the management systems
  • Guidelines for auditing a RTS management system

DataFromSky was mentioned as a great source of data, and we must agree. The conflict heatmaps from simulation on next slide are exactly what we can deliver! Furthermore, we can do this from real data.

Stay tuned for more news about road safety…

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Videos from Bayonne, France

Working together with UAV640, we took a look at a roundabout in the center of Bayonne and ran our analytic tools on it.

As you can see, DataFromSky can use higher resolution just fine…

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Venice – Final analysis

You probably remember the recording in Venice: Blimp recording in Venice, Recording in Venice in detail. We have obtained permission to share some of the results, so we can show you what can DataFromSky do for you, too!

Speed profile

The speed profiles for both areas were extracted.

At a glance, one can see what speeds belong to which path through the crossroads. It is also plainly visible which trajectories belong to slow and which to speedy drivers. In this case, the total area captured and analyzed is too small to show bigger changes in speeds, though.

Speed profile, Caposile roundabout
Speed profile, Portegrandi T-intersection

Area coverage

Density of trajectories corresponds to area usage. One can thus estimate how much of the road’s width is actually used by passing vehicles, and where the wear of roadway is most intensive.

Area coverage, Caposile roundabout
Area coverage, Portegrandi T-intersection

Conflict areas

DataFromSky can detect situations where vehicles become too close, or have to slow down to let each other pass. This is a visualization of these events’ spatial distribution. You can easily see that there is a single point for the T-intersection and estimate from the pattern at roundabout that its southern leg is far less used.

Conflict areas, Caposile roundabout
Conflict areas, Portegrandi T-intersection

Other

Deflection and radius analysis

Deflection angle and radius analysis, Caposile roundabout

Deflection angle denotes the part of road which requires circular movement. Radius describes the size of that circle. Both can relate either to the shape of road, or actual trajectory used by vehicles.

DataFromSky provides real vehicle trajectories, so actual deflection angles and radii can be measured. These depend on the combination of entry and exit points, so it’s natural to split the trajectories into groups. Again, with DataFromSky you are not left wishing for features.

Road design validation

Road design validation, Portegrandi T-intersection

Last but not least, the trajectory data from DataFromSky is exactly what you need to validate design of the road. Whatever the design process, verifications, and modelling tell you before, here you get real data about the situation.

Pictures used in this post are only illustrative and do not match the text perfectly. All trajectories are visualized, instead of particular groups.

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New partners

We are pleased to announce our exciting new partnerships with UAV640, ATEC-3D, Airpixa, and Telink to distribute DataFromSky solution within European Union. Welcome on our board!

UAV640

UAV640 is a French company based in Bayonne. The tagline on their website, “drone and dirigible services for industry“, is a very brief way of describing what they do.

UAV640 has a number of rotary wing drones, two independently manoeuvrable miniature airships for larger payloads, and a tethered baloon. The wide range of types is ideal for traffic monitoring purposes, providing hardware for both shorter and longer studies.

Apart from deploying a diverse fleet of aerial vehicles, UAV640 has a training centre for UAV operators and a lab.

UAV640 logo

ATEC-3D

ATEC-3D is a British UAV operator. Currently, their focus is on aerial photography, mine surveying, inspections and environmental usage. We hope to work together on traffic analysis in future, too!

ATEC-3D

Airpixa

Airpixa is a British UAV operator. From their site: AirPixa specialises in photography and engaging corporate video productions with a special emphasis on aerial work. Again, we are looking forward to working together on traffic analysis…

Airpixa logo

Telink

Telink is a Czech company providing sales, repairs and renting of UAVs.

Telink logo
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Czech e-magazine E15.cz writes about DataFromSky

An article about us appeared in Czech e-magazine E15.cz. This is a result of a visit by Jan Sedlák a few weeks earlier. E15.cz focuses on IT commerce and is part of portfolio of Mladá fronta, one of the biggest publishing houses in Czech republic. Needless to say, we are pleased to be covered by them!

The article itself mostly just skims on the surface of DataFromSky as a solution, as is to be expected from an article of this length. You can learn something about the business situation of RCE Systems, our company, though.

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Recording in Venice in detail

You have already read about the recording in Venice. Now that the work is finished, we can share a closer look at the whole process.

Motivation

The surveys were done near Jesolo – a famous seaside resort known for its abundant holiday facilities and a 15-kilometre (9 mi) beach called Lido di Jesolo. At the height of its touristic life, Jesolo hosts 6 million tourists per year. Traffic data in the area are fundamental.

ESSEOTTO Engineering was interested in a deep analysis in the field of road safety and road traffic on rural roads in Province of Venice. This first test concentrated on various types of intersections: T-intersection and a small roundabout. They didn’t want to only survey traffic (counting and classification) but also many other parameters such as: speeds, acceleration, time, distance and other parameters fundamental for road safety. Only DataFromSky is capable of helping them – there is no other way to collect all of this data comprehensively.

The places

Let’s take a look at the places of recording.

Small roundabout – Caposile

The first intersection is a typical Italian compact roundabout in front of the urban area. Here, interactions with other type of road users than just cars can take place. Since the speeds are lower than at other types of intersections, in this case the objects of study were roundabout angle deviation and trajectories arising from interaction with pedestrians.

T-intersection – Portegrandi

The second is a typical T-intersection between two rural roads: a primary road and a secondary road with a stop signal. The main issues are the speeds on the primary road and the conflict points on turn-left manoeuvres from primary road.

On-site operations

A date was selected and the engineers from TAU could finally come and do their thing – fly their blimp and record a video of the traffic. The recording was from height of 40-70 meters and gathered a total of 4.5 hours or 270 minutes of traffic footage for analysis.

Blimp on the truck Blimp in the air Blimp high in the sky

The weather was very severe, and in fact a storm warning was issued for the day. The blimp rocked wildly in the winds, turning to and fro madly. Despite that, the recording could be stabilized in-software and used. The height to which the blimp was allowed to rise was limited by the weather, too. Fortunately, both of the sites were completely kept in view of the camera all the time, so there wasn’t any problem with processing.

Results

A lot of interesting data was gathered in a short space of time. Thanks to these surveys, ESSEOTTO Engineering is now able to analyse the infrastructure with more efficiency.

Road traffic and OD matrix
Thanks to the field of vision, granted by vantage point above the intersections, we are able to detect every vehicle and know its destination, with 100% accuracy.
Road safety analysis
ESSEOTTO engineers are studying trajectories and driver behaviour to understand incorrect manoeuvres and improve intersections’ road safety.
Road design
A new concept of infrastructure design is growing – allowed by the rich data available with DataFromSky. Thanks to geometric parameters such as angle deviation, lane occupancy, speed profile and much more, a traffic engineer can carry out new designs with better accuracy and data firmly grounded in reality.
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Send us your videos!

As a reminder – we are ready to process short (ca. 5 minutes) video clips as a demonstration of our service. For this we need:

  1. the video, shot from above or close to such,

  2. GPS locations of prominent features in view,

  3. information about the camera and lenses used.

For more information about recording video usable with DataFromSky, please read the document “Recording video for DataFromSky”.

We will give you the results of analysis, which can be viewed in the freely downloadable version of viewer / trajectory analyzer. We are looking forward to showing you what DataFromSky can do!

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New functionality: Flow visualization

A new function was added to DataFromSky: Traffic flow visualization. Instead of collecting vehicle counts from manually defined combinations of gates, one can now get a fully automatically generated overview of the situation. Take a look at the pictures below to compare the old and new ways:

Normal view – a tangle of trajectories


New view – trajectories’ aggregation


What happens behind the scenes is that the trajectories are grouped according to their characteristics and the resulting trajectory groups visualized according to their average. Needless to say, the DataFromSky team is pleased to bring another of computer science concepts – clustering – into practical use in the field of traffic engineering.

Of course, the trajectory clustering is again only another stepping stone on which one can build further. Even the most rudimentary statistics inside the trajectory groups allow getting at more and more interesting kinds of information. Let’s say… Automatic detection of fastest path, extracting the associated speed, time spent in roundabout etc., comparison with the rest of the group,… As always, there is much space to grow and improve. As we all know – the sky’s the limit!

As the academic year is coming to its last weeks, the DataFromSky protégés which you already heard about will boost the team shortly. So look forward to more news of this kind, and if you have an idea for a function, type of data, that can be extracted from the currently available information, we are ready to listen!

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