Our new DataFromSky AI is finally launched! Globally trusted cloud-based platform for fully automated traffic analysis from videos using AI and machine learning methods with 100% guarantee of results (optionally).It is capable of measuring a wide range of advanced traffic parameters thanks to the trajectory-based approach: analyzing current speed acceleration/decelerationm, classification up to 16 categories, safety analysis (measuring Time to Collision, Heavy Breaking or risky situations), configurable gate counting including O/D matrix, travel and occupancy times, headways, Gap time & Time to follow analysis, capacity, estimations, various export functions and statistics and many more features… Click this link, upload a video taken by drone or standard camera and analyze your extracted traffic data or try one of our outputs available here.
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The employment of drones and automatic image analysis offers new possibilities in traffic surveys, thanks to the accuracy of the measurement, the coverage range and the uniqueness of the obtained data. The camera is the most sensitive on the change of the position of ground objects in all directions when using the bird’s eye view. The dynamic occlusion between individual objects is minimalized as well.
These factual reasons together with advanced algorithms for extraction of traffic data ensure perfect information about every single participant of traffic flow.
Angle of recording/ drone position
Lens speed / parasitic optical phenomena
Resolution & framerate & bitrate
Angle of recording / drone position
In terms of accuracy of vehicle localization, the most ideal drone position is directly above the intersection — so-called TOP DOWN VIEW. At this position, the camera is the most sensitive to the change of the position of the object in the scene, therefore an extremely precise measurement of vehicle speed and acceleration is made possible. At the same time, the dynamic occlusion between individual objects is minimalized. Nevertheless, drone suspension directly above the traffic node is not always possible due to safety regulation and applicable legislation. In a situation like this, a simple rule applies — place the drone in such position that the view of the analyzed section is near to the bird’s eye view.
The procedure is as follows:
Fly with the drone to the nearest possible place in the middle of the intersection.
Ascend to the maximum possible height. However, do not cross the height where a pixel resolution of monitored objects would be less than 20×20 pixels.
There is a notable drop of the accuracy of the vehicle localization (please note that this does NOT hold for DETECTION or for CLASSIFICATION) if the angle of the view is higher than 55 degree.
A simple rule is as follows:
Angle of incidence ˂ 55 degrees = the drone should always be higher than the distance between the projection of the drone position on the ground and the center of the intersection.
45 degrees means, that the drone altitude is the same as its distance from the center of the intersection.
0 degrees means that the drone is directly above the intersection.
The drone should always be positioned in that way so the dynamic and static occlusions are avoided. Occlusions increase the probability of failure of object tracking and of disengagement of continuous trajectories, in other words, one object will have a higher number of shorter trajectories. The systems are robust against short occlusions, but long occlusions can cause the disengagement of continuous trajectories into more parts.
Try to keep the drone in the same position when recording. Do not change the drone altitude nor the camera take and zoom when recording. All parameters should have been set before the start of recording. For high-quality recordings, it is better to use a camera with ultra-wide range lens, not with fish eye lens, which causes high distortion especially noticeable at image margins.
Parasitic optical phenomena / lens speed and scene acuity
When recording, try to avoid parasitic optical phenomena in camera take, which may be caused for instance by the sun or another strong source of light. Always turn the camera in such a way that this strong source of light is not recorded by a camera. Takes of scenes with sky should be avoided.
Focusing should always be carried out in such a way so the vehicles / objects are not blurred in a take. At the same try to set the camera in such a way so the objects are contrasting but not over-bright nor too much dark. This should be considered even at the expense of other parts of the shot. In case of night recordings or the recordings at the low light conditions, it is important that besides vehicles also the traffic elements are visibly identifiable.
An image from camera ought not to be deformed by shaking (caused by drone motor vibrations) as a majority of cameras use the rolling shutter function to load image data in rows. If the vibrations are not sufficiently damped, their effect will occur in the form of shaking in between rows within the image. This shaking then lowers the accuracy of the used stabilization methods. Motor vibrations can be damped with suitable damping elements.
Resolution, FPS and bitrate
Resolution is a key attribute for the detection and classification of objects. The minimal size of an object within the image (for its detection) is 15×15 pixels, while for its correct classification, a resolution of 30×30 pixels is needed. A recommended size for objects within the image is between 30×30 pixels up to 150×150 pixels in the whole monitored area within the intersection. Object size depends on the following parameters:
Drone’s position — altitude / angle
Mutual position of a monitored object and a drone/camera
A common rule is that if you record the video with maximal resolution used by modern cameras these days (e.g. 4K or 5K), it will be sufficient, as it is always possible to reduce the quality, but not the other way around. The following is a simple guide for resolutions:
A distance with oblique angle < or = 120 meters -> FULL HD (1920×1200) resolution will be sufficient, but it is better to use a higher resolution (2k/4k)
A distance with oblique angle > 120 to 300 meters -> use 4K video resolution
Framerate represents the sampling frequency of measurements. For vehicle speed up to 70 km/h, it is possible to use a framerate 15FPS. For vehicle speed over 50 km/h, it is better to use sampling frequency around 25 FPS. Sampling frequency over 35 FPS has no further positive effect on the quality of measurement, but only makes the video and its size unnecessarily large. The final quality of the video is also greatly influenced by bitrate settings. At FULL HD videos, coded with the H264 coding format, the bitrate should be at least 10 Mbit/s. At 4K videos, coded with H264, a minimum of 20 Mbit/s is necessary. The video must not be blurry, pixelated, or any signs of damage caused by compressing algorithms.
Tip for beginners: record video with 4K resolution and 25 FPS with standard bitrate (approx. 20 Mbit/s)
By following these rules you will get suitable videos for automatic processing to extract super-accurate data for your traffic study. Before the final recording, we recommend to carry out a test flight or make a few sample recordings in order to get acquainted with the basic principles. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Legislation & safety
Before the recording itself, always check what are the legal conditions for the recording of traffic in your country. Legislation differs from country to country and sometimes it is required to use services of a professional pilot with necessary permissions. There is also a predefined maximal flight altitude for drones in many countries (usually 120 meters), as well as a minimal safety distance (usually 50–120 meters away from objects). If the recording is carried out by a professional pilot, it is possible to gain permission even at different conditions. Always take the possible risks of technical failure into consideration.
If you do not want to carry out the recording by yourself, do not hesitate to contact us. We have a network of experienced and certified pilots all around the globe within the DataFromSky PILOT program. We will provide you with consultations about your project and its requirements in order to find the most suitable solution. We can also carry out the recording for you if necessary.
DataFromSky is a complex system for fully automated extraction of accurate traffic data using AI and machine learning methods. It has been developed and used for the purpose of traffic studies since 2013. DataFromSky AERIAL is a state-of-the-art and fully automated service for video analysis from the bird’s eye view (drones, balloons) for acquiring of super-accurate data not only for traffic research. DataFromSky LIGHT is a service for data analysis from low-altitude cameras for standard traffic research, fully automated as well. Try and see all the traffic magic FOR FREE!
We are happy to announce a release of a new version of DataFromSky Viewer and we have one breaking news for you: DFS Viewer LIGHT and DFS Viewer AERIAL were merged into ONE common software application DataFromSky Viewer. From now on, you do not have to install two different software, one for videos analyzed by LIGHT platform (light.datafromsky.com) and the other one analyzed by Aerial platform. The aggregated Viewer SW will display the features according to the log you open in it – what does it mean? If you have video processed by DFS Light and open the tlgx file in Viewer, the SW will show you the features for the LIGHT Viewer, and on the other hand, if you have a drone video analyzed by DFS Aerial and open the tlgx file in this aggregated Viewer, the SW will automatically enable you all the advanced features available for Aerial analysis. Be smart and use one application for all results!
New features of DataFromSky Viewer:
* one common version for both services AERIAL & LIGHT (automatic SW configuration according to opened file) * GRID maps * new type of filter “Traffic Region” – measuring time of staying, number of vehicles within the defined zone (region) * supported new speed units: kilometers per hour [km/h], miles per hour [mi/h] or feet per second * significantly speed up video playback even for 4k video * new option to export the visualization video in .mp4 * new option to specify export resolution (“Original”, “2160p”, “1080p” and “720p”) * option to lock project tlgx file (only in registrated, licensed version)
You don’t have an account on DataFromSky Web Platform yet? Go to light.datafromsky.com, create an Account for free and test the automatic video analysis on your own videos! You will receive some free Credits as a welcome gift. Download new version of DataFromSky Viewer directly at this link or go to the Task manager on your User Account. Tricks and tips on how to use the SW are “hidden” in our Help section.
Can something as common as a camera be transformed into a complex mobile monitoring system for advanced analysis of traffic? Can we distinguish anomalous and aggressive behavior of drivers, acquire full trajectories of vehicles or even detect traffic accidents before they happen? These are some of the questions that the newest edition of a smart city magazine called D!CITY tries to answer, which included also two smart city solutions using cameras: DataFromSky and ParkingDetection and also smart city platform of our partner OMS Lighting.
In the past, the main task for cameras was to record stories, which could be, unfortunately, interpreted only by humans. Nowadays, thanks to the increasing availability of high-quality cameras and mainly due to the immense technological advancement in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the camera has become a universal sensor with application in many fields of the smart city concept, as they can serve as “the smart eyes of smart cities”. This marks the beginning of a new era, where image can be processed also by machines and where camera represents a rich source of data at even very low costs. What are the main areas of traffic analysis, where a camera already proves itself in action?
In times where individual transport increases faster than ever before, traffic congestions or even collapses can occur on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are systems which can help to achieve more fluent traffic even without expensive infrastructure changes, you just need a certain bird’s eye view. If we give camera “wings”, for example by attaching it to an unmanned aerial vehicle, we get a monitoring system for advanced traffic analysis which is not only very accurate but also at an affordable price. This is exactly what our project DataFromSky deals with – as there are several research projects that require just this type of traffic analysis. The system can detect vehicles and other participants of the traffic flow, which includes not only their trajectories and speed but also detection of possibly dangerous behavior with deep-learning and artificial intelligence. This can even detect traffic accidents before they actually happen, which can provide the traffic engineers with very valuable data about causes of traffic accidents within the tested area in order to look for ways how to avoid them in the future with convenient preventive measures.
Cameras are becoming a prominent technology for traffic analysis also at so-called “adaptive intersections”, as they can accurately detect not only vehicles, but also pedestrians and cyclists, which also play an important role in the given traffic flow. With smart traffic lights control, based on data from a network of sensors, the whole system becomes way more fluent and flexible when it comes to reaction to rapid changes within the traffic, making it also a lot safer. Another use of cameras lies in the field of smart lighting, as the camera can collect visual data and use to analyze public spaces, monitor traffic or detect anomalous behavior. This gives us many possibilities of designing smart streets with the use of a smart camera system, using something as common as public lighting.
Traffic congestion can be also caused by the situation in parking, especially in situations when drivers are trying to find an empty parking space in an infrastructure, which is already overloaded. One of the possible solutions is to use current parking spots more effectively or even navigate drivers to parking lots with available places to park their car. This is the main area of focus of the system called ParkingDetection. As far as technical and economic aspects are concerned, a camera represents a suitable sensorial solution for monitoring of even tens or hundreds of parking spots, as even very large parking lots can be covered by a single smart camera at very low costs, while magnetic sensors would be extremely expensive and even less accurate. If we also add an ALPR camera for number plate reading into the system, we get a significant number of potential technical solutions for residential parking, reservation of individual parking spots or even increased safety within the parking lot.
Are we on the brink of an age of cameras? In the not-so-distant past, autonomous vehicles, or using drones for traffic analysis would sound like science fiction. Nowadays, these technologies are already becoming a reality, also thanks to the advancement in cameras and artificial intelligence. It is becoming clear that cameras will play an important role in the future of smart cities.
Our partner Roelofs has made an analysis with DataFromSky for a big junction in the city center of Brussel, Belgium. The analysis covers the junction between the Leopold II Lane and Sainctelette – one of the biggest and most complex junctions in Brussel. In this case, the video is made by a tethered drone to get a longer survey. Thanks to DataFromSky, it is possible to create a detailed traffic study which was handled to the government of Brussel and its Mobility department, providing the correct data for creating solutions that can improve the traffic flow and safety of this junction.
DataFromSky Aerial analysis is providing complete and detailed telemetry data about each traffic participant:
complete object trajectories (time, position, speed, acceleration in coordinate system UTM or WGS84) – visualization in program or various exports
classification of all objects into 7 main categories (including bicycles and pedestrians)
vehicle counts via configurable counting gates
detailed OD matrix and turning movements count in defined directions
speed and acceleration anywhere in the scene, heatmaps
measurement of critical headway (gap) and follow-up headway
safety analysis (Time to collision measurement, PET, Heavy breaking etc.)
and much more!
Do you want to use DataFromSky project in your project? Contact us with your query!
ROELOFS, an exclusive partner of DataFromSky in the Netherlands, carried out comprehensive traffic research of a traffic node in the province of Gelderland. The data collected with a drone and analyzed by DataFromSky Aerial platform will be used as the main source for a study for planned major maintenance in 2021.
The drone was deployed at the roundabout of the N318 Misterweg in Winterswijk. When preparing for the major maintenance of this road, it is also being examined whether road safety can be improved. Besides other things, DataFromSky offers many great features for analysis of traffic behavior and road safety, including analysis of risky situations or near collisions, calculation of Time to Collision, Heavy Breaking and analysis of many other factors.
For many years, the data were collected by people standing on the side and observing the traffic, then the data were evaluated manually. This process was lengthy, inefficient, and had low-precision data output. All of these shortcomings are overtaken with a new modern approach combining 2 great technologies of today world: drones and AI.
Traffic flow – trajectories:green – cars, yellow – heavy vehicles, red – bicycles, blue – pedestrians
The whole team of DataFromsky is happy to announce that the Technological Agency of Czech Republic has supported our project in the international programme “Delta”. We have succeeded with a project called “Traffic management platform development for big social events using a drone based on visual sensing techniques”.
The aim of the project is to develop an aerial artificial intelligence – a comprehensive mobile platform for real-time monitoring of traffic and big social events, using a UAV and advanced methods of computer vision based on artificial intelligence. The goal of is to develop a fast-deployable system for real-time surveillance of the defined area with automatic object recognition and classification, monitoring and automatic motion evaluation. Extracted image data will be analyzed in order to detect some nonstandard behavior, congestion, zone disturbance, and other user-defined parameters. Traffic data will be used for the immediate evaluation of traffic using simulations. The system has a high potential of being deployed in the traffic monitoring segment (police drone) or in a security field.
The novelty of the solution is in the implementation of intelligent UAV, which will provide information about moving objects during the flight operation, and interpret this data in the context of a particular application. This highly mobile platform is used wherever it is necessary to analyze the real-time situation.
The project is a multidisciplinary task that combines the latest trends in mobile robotics (UAV), computer vision, and automated telemetry analysis. The system will be integrated into a higher unit to evaluate traffic situations and traffic plans based on simulations.
Need to perform operational analysis of a roundabout based on the real traffic data? DataFromSky supports the calculation of a wide range of operational parameters such as critical-gap time / follow-up time / critical headway etc. Get super accurate traffic data for your research and/or traffic study regardless of the type of intersection using DataFromSky.
Monitoring and analyzing traffic behavior at intersections and roundabouts is an important task in the present traffic research. Trajectory analysis provides higher-level situational awareness by understanding the behavior of every traffic element in the analyzed scene due to the rich information contained in its own motion. DataFromSky is able to extract trajectories and their spatial-temporal statistical characteristics automatically with very high accuracy and high sampling frequency. Accurate traffic data is essential in any modern research in the field of traffic analysis such as:
Object counting and classification, gathering speed & acceleration data, O/D matrix and much more on an area of 55,000 square meters. DataFromSky is the name of the most advanced Aerial AI for an understanding of movements in videos taken by drones, balloons or helicopters.
Take a look at another nice shot from Italy taken from a balloon. The length of the video is 2 hours and 31 minutes. DataFromSky tracked 5 455 objects (4881 cars, 325 medium vehicles, 77 heavy vehicles, 68 buses, 101 motorcycles, 1 bicycle, and 2 pedestrians) with the average speed of 12.24 km/h and the total distance traveled by all participants reaching 1 847 km! Do you need extremely accurate data about traffic flow? Contact us!
DataFromSky is participating on Hi-Tech China exhibition in Shenzhen! One of the biggest hi-tech event in Asia is held from 14. to 18. 11. 2018 in the Convention and Exhibition Center in Shenzhen. You can find us on the stand together with the Czech governmental agency Czech Trade. Come to visit us on stand nb. 1A93 in Hall 1!