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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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