In many cities, there are places where many road users pass or stay in a complicated network of routes and get into a risky interaction. It can be difficult to get an overview of the whole situation and define the “hot spots” where the traffic behavior is simply non-standard. Our tool Data From Sky is in most cases be able to uncover, sort and analyze all movements of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in a larger area and evaluate critical parts of a road network, that might be risky for any traffic participant. This kind of overview and analysis can give traffic and urban planners a very good starting point for designing any adjustments.
The figure below shows an area in the city of Aarhus in Denmark and displays the flow of cyclists (pink trajectories) and pedestrians (green trajectories) in the 2-hour period. The main goal of the analysis is to provide the Aarhus Municipality with an overview of cyclists and pedestrian movement in the analyzed area and identify some patterns in their traffic behavior.
After having formed a detailed overview of all the different flows and routes, author of this study (Birger Villadsen, Traffic Specialist at COWI) has focused on those areas, where cyclists’ and pedestrians’ behavior gets into a collision. The detailed DataFromSky Analysis helped to analyze the problematic spots and draw up proposals for changes, that can help to simplify the traffic flow. Aarhus Municipality will evaluate the list of proposals and test them on the site by making temporary changes and observing whether they have the intended effect before the changes are implemented permanently.
John F. Kennedy’s Square in city of Aalborg in Denmark is with the railway station and bus terminal an important traffic hub that connects Aalborg to the surrounding towns and most of the bigger cities in country. With Aalborg Municipality’s desire and strategy to change the habits and move citizens from cars to bicycle and public transport, large space problems have arisen in connection with parking spaces for bicycles. The bike rails are crowded and illegally parked bikes fill up the street scene and create dangerous pedestrian situations.
In order to find the optimal location of bicycle parking facilities, the movement patterns of each traffic participant, especially pedestrians and bicycles, were analyzed using DataFromSky advanced software – see the pictures attached below, representing the trajectories of bicycles (blue) and pedestrians (green). Based on these patterns, detailed data, statistics and trajectories information, COWI has performed a study examining where it will be possible to implement more parking places for bicycles in and around the square, resulting with a proposal for how the space can be furnished – offering more space for bicycle parking and rest areas for pedestrians.
DataFromSky analysis has also resulted in illustrations of average speed of pedestrians in this square. The data were used to design areas where pedestrians typically stop and where there may be a need for seating (e.g. near the bus station), moreover, these information and data are extremely valuable for a safety study in a given zone, which can be adopted by the municipality to make some changes in order to increase the safety of pedestrians and bicycles in analyzed area.
If you are interested in knowing more details and want to read the full study, click on this link.
Bicycles – movement patterns based on trajectories of each bicycle
Pedestrians – movement patterns based on trajectories of each pedestrian in analyzed area
In upcoming days, you have a chance to see DataFromSky solution and its practical use cases and demonstration on an event related to the Road & Transportation. Visit the stand of COWI, our partner for Nordic countries, on Vejforum 2017 event, an exciting conference with the theme “Roads, people and technology”, held between 6. and 7. December 2017 in Hotel Nyborg Strand, Denmark. For more information, visit the event’s website
DataFromSky – the world’s most advanced traffic analysis
It will also be demonstrated how advanced technologies such as computer vision, neural networking and deep learning can be used and implemented in the world’s most advanced software for comprehensive traffic analyzes and also how to utilize this solution to detect the occupancy of a parking lot in real time using an ordinary IP cameras and the AI behind.
One of the topics presented on this event will be the “Accident Portal” – new web-based analysis tool developed by COWI that gives the Danish municipalities completely new opportunities for quickly, efficiently and through a user-friendly interface to work with traffic accidents data. The team of DataFromSky is currently working on a project evaluating the safety of a traffic node to know the potentionally risky situation and detect near accidents and accidents. This feature could be possibly utilized in the Accident Portal mentioned above.
DataFromSky in cooperation with COWI is coming with a new traffic analysis from Denmark! As in all other major cities, massive amounts of traffic goes in and out of Copenhagen every day. This leads to congestion and the everlasting discussion on how to effectively move as many people as possible. In Copenhagen, almost 50 percent of all commuting trips are made using bicycles. This results in numerous potential conflicts between bicycles and cars, and the battle for allocating and distributing sheer road surface space between the transport modes is continually on – especially at certain locations, where available space is scarce. One such place is “Christmas Moellers Plads”, an intersection complex connecting inner Copenhagen to the island Amager. Through the use of a specialized UAV and Data From Sky, COWI has obtained a complete 4-hour overview of traffic passing through this complex for both cyclists and motorists – and the interaction between the two. The data extracted now forms the basis for looking into new and better solutions that will keep this people mover perform at its best.
DataFromSky has in COWI an exclusive partner in Denmark and other Nordic countries since March this year. COWI’s use of drones for traffic data collection and analysis using DataFromSky has been now covered by DR, the Danish national broadcasting company. In prime time, no less!
You can watch the evening news video. The drone part starts at 6:13. Apart from showing the drone operations and interviewing various officials (all in Danish), you can see a beautiful example of DataFromSky footage there, too – although with all branding zealously removed except for the television logo. The effect of now-implemented and released anonymization is plainly visible there nicely: In the TV low picture quality it looks almost as tilt-shift photography. This is also an opportunity to take a closer look at some real hardware used practically daily for traffic analysis recording.
COWI mentioned this on their City Creators blog in article Droner flyver ind på nethinden (Drones fly into the view), where they previously introduced DataFromSky. They also mention that the commercial drone sector could employ as much as 15 thousand people just in Denmark – whether that figure also originates from the news video we do not know.
An article titled “Světová stopa mladých českých podnikatelů” (The World footprint of young Czech enterpreneurs) was published by the startup competition Nastartujtese.cz across various media, both online and in print. The article showcases the top 3 projects of the last year’s copetition (we were second) and invites submissions to this year’s round. It’s great that traffic safety is taken seriously and that we are among the Czech companies that leaver some impact on the world.
The two immediately reachable versions of the article are these by Podnikatel.cz and Peníze.cz, both in Czech. The article is scheduled to appear in print media within a few weeks, too.
In case you are interested in what COWI is up to, check out COWI city creators. It is a blog by COWI departments of Urban and Traffic Planning. The blog is about “urban planning, transport, architecture and much else that goes on in one of Northern Europe’s largest environments for urban development”.
RCE Systems and COWI announce a strategic exclusive partnership in the geographic area of Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The partnership focuses on application of information technologies in transportation, particularly use and further development of DataFromSky.
COWI is a leading consulting group with a 360° approach. The Danish company has a long-proven record of success, serving customers from the Nordic countries and the whole world in the field of civil engineering, including traffic analysis. The partnership enables COWI to provide more accurate and comprehensive traffic information and analysis using DataFromSky. Hence, COWI will help DataFromSky grow professionally and reach more markets.
COWI handles all commercial use of DataFromSky in the Nordic countries, and key personnel can be contacted directly:
Another video from Denmark analyzed, this time from a 4-way junction in the center of Charlottenlund and processed as a demo for WeFly. In slightly over 3:45, almost 140 vehicles pass, at an average speed of 10 kph. The traffic flow appears to be 2163 vehicles/hour.
There is a public school nearby, so there are a lot of student pedestrians in addition to cars.
The footage was taken on 20.11.2015 from the altitude of 57 meters. The camera used was GoPro 4 on a gimbal, recording in full HD at 50 FPS.
It’s time for yet another roundabout from Denmark! This time recorded in the city of Randers, using a tethered drone at altitude of 70 meters and processed as a 5-minute demo for COWI. Given that the drone’s range was 80 meters and it appears to be placed some 90 meters away, the result is certainly nice.
Frame rejection capability
Somewhat less nice is that the video has a few erroneous frames (images). So, we added function to fix that – marking frames as rejected for analysis. It does not mesh perfectly with all of the DFS parts yet: You may notice the background blinks (video problem) and that trajectories are smooth (data is cured), but somewhat confusing is that the labels themselves will jump (visualization breaks). Well, that’s a problem of display only, and will get better soon. The data is correct, that mattered as the first goal.
(Note also that since the web video player drops some frames on its own, you have about a 50/50 chance to even notice any single bad frames from the video below – you can try hunting for the one that occurs at about 0:50).
Objects tracked: 220
Total distance travelled: 24314 m
Average speed: 10.31 km/h
As Denmark has become first country in the world using real-time traffic data all around the country we got the opportunity to analyse one of many busy crossroads in there. For us it is the second time monitoring traffic in Denmark, this time in Rismarksvej. The intersection is four-way and bicycles friendly and controlled by traffic lights.
Length of analyzed video: 11 minutes
Number of objects being tracked: 525 (vehicles and bicycles)
Total distance traveled: 89 044.4 metres
Average speed: 11.104 km per hour
The exact location is:
And we would like to thank to RAMBOLL for providing us a video.