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Traffic monitoring in Mexico City!

New traffic analysis from Mexico city.
The visualization video is showing capabilities of DataFromSky in very high traffic flow, where the density reaches 9 000 vehicles per hour!
Video displays IDs and categories of tracked objects (car, medium and heavy vehicle, bus, motocycle), current speed and acceleration, stationary time, traffic counting through gates, trajectories visualization and heatmaps based on average speed and acceleration.

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DataFromSky & COWI – traffic analysis in Copenhagen

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.

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COWI demonstrates the possibilities of DataFromSky

COWI, an exclusive partner in Denmark and other Nordic countries, nicely demonstrates the possibilities of DataFromSky solution in a new video. In this video, you can see some basic outputs from DataFromSky Viewer such as speed & acceleration data, heatmaps, vehicle types etc. We have an endless list of functions that can be added or improved, so expect more to come!

All commercial use of DataFromSky in the Nordic countries is handled by COWI, and key personnel can be contacted directly:

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Excel exports

We would like to announce a new great feature – reports that can be opened in the most widespread spreadsheet editor of all time (so far). Yes, Viewer can now export a complete Excel sheet listing all the possible things you want to know, starting with turning movements and ending with with an image of the annotations. If you do not use Excel, no reason to be sad – the reports are completely readable in LibreOffice, too, and probably in most other spreadsheet editors.

As an example, here is a video from EXPO Milano. Not exactly from the exhibition though, rather from a nearby roundabout during afternoon. This is another video shot from a building, this time at a very poor angle – one of the legs is completely hidden. You can see easily that the roundabout is severely congested in the first few minutes of video. Looks like an overhaul might be needed…

The video included here is a short example, the total recording includes over sixteen hundred vehicles. Anyway, you are invited to take a look at what an excel report from such a place looks like:

XLSX Excel report from the video

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Video from Iceland

EFLA, an engineering company from Iceland, asked us for a demo of DataFromSky. They selected a roundabout in Selfoss, a town in Southern Region which is its administrative center. Its growth started after construction of a bridge over the river Ölfusá – the bridge that you see in the video is its later replacement. The roundabout also lies on the Icelandic Ring road.

In this demonstration survey, we tracked 300 vehicles which travelled 57 893 meters in total, averaging 193 m per vehicle. The average speed was 27 kph.

All commercial use of DataFromSky in the Nordic countries is handled by COWI, and key personnel can be contacted directly:

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High-rise used for traffic monitoring in Trieste

We have been recently asked by a student of civil engineering from University of Trieste to analyze a video for his master’s thesis titled “The Design of Road Intersection“.

With this video, we can present another mode of use for DataFromSky, a first for us: Video shot from buildings. As you can imagine, the image is stable as a rock, and not too bad for just 45 meters at 13th floor. The covered area is rather small, but that does not matter much here. The area is quite confined anyway, with all the buildings around. One of the roads almost immediately disappears in a tunnel. To quote the author:

The analysed crossroad is an urban traffic-light intersection, located in the suburbs of the Municipality of Trieste. The intersection presents a substantial traffic flow especially in the morning and the evening hours. Most of the inhabitants which live in the suburbs of Trieste cross this road intersection to go to work, to school and to university.

Gate placement – click for Google maps. The building with camera is on the right.
Annotations

Origin-destination matrix

Exit gate 8 Exit gate 9 Exit gate 12 Exit gate 14 Exit gate 16 Exit gate 17
Entry gate 7 0 0 0 504 673 0
Entry gate 10 0 0 7 0 1 103
Entry gate 11 1 2 1 2 8 121
Entry gate 13 555 21 0 45 285 0
Entry gate 15 676 35 40 136 1 164

You can also take a look at the thesis abstract written by Ing. Erik Sferco:
PDF English version
PDF Italian version

In this survey, we tracked 3 617 vehicles which travelled 338 898 meters in total. Length of the analyzed video was about one hour. We are looking for partners from academic sphere as well! If you want to utilize DataFromSky approach in your research, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Interview with Andrea Marella from Smart Mobility World 2015

At Smart Mobility World 2015, our Italian representative, Andrea Marella, was interviewed by IOT Expo. We did not manage to get rights for modification of the video, so we bring it here in the original Italian without subtitles and add an English transcript below. (The auto-transcript and auto-translate feature from Youtube is not really worth trying out in this case).

Video

Transcript

(ENAC is the Italian Civil Aviation Authority)

Journalist Andrea Marella, from DataFromSky. I would like like to better understand in which field do work and who you are.
Andrea Marella Thanks for the question. My job has been dealing with traffic and transport ambit for some years now. I discovered around one and a half year ago this service, that we are currently able to provide to our customers also here in Italy. Practically, we can record aerial videos, using drones or similar technologies, and by means of that we can analyze the video using our processing software. This allows us to extract much more information than we usually have, and not simply the static ones, but also dynamic data. So for example considering a given vehicle that has been recorded in the video, it is possible to tag it and see its movement, as well as know, for each video frame, the speed, acceleration, deceleration, time to enter, time to exit,… All these data are something that we, as traffic engineers, didn’t have until short time ago, but they’re available. Who could be interested in those data? Public administrations, traffic research centers, motorway companies, but also shopping malls. For example, we recently conducted some surveys around the Zara-Expo area in Milan, outside the Expo exhibition, where we had to evaluate and analyze the long-term flows. In conclusion, it allows collection of a large amount of data.
Journalist So what you are talking about is an applicable solution, that has to do with the drone sector, and that could be very useful to compute data analysis. About the application sectors, are they related only to traffic analysis, or may they be different?
Andrea Marella We developed this algorithm that allow to capture the information on a generic moving object. In this case we apply it on vehicles driving along a road, but it could be applied also, for example, to vehicles being parked, knowing the standing time of each vehicle, the enter and exit time, other different important vehicle parameters. As I told before, focusing on shopping centers, we also could estimate the queue, study possible gridlock conditions, the waiting exit time… And last but not least, the road safety, where many applications may use the data that we offer – because what in fact we do is provide information and elaborate them for the customer. This may be, as I said before, public administration, as well as an individual user.
Journalist About the drone sector: It’s a field that is currently fast expanding, but at the same time faces lots of complication to freely grow, because of the problem related to the ENAC regulations, the need for license, authorization, restrictions,… At the moment work is a bit complicated. What do you think about it as an ‘inside worker’?
Andrea Marella Let me start by saying that we actually provide the analysis service, and the survey phase is generally conducted by our partner companies, they have everything needed to legally and safely carry out work. What I can personally say, is that within the last 18 months we had two revisions of the regulations about flying objects; every time that I meet experts or other workers who have something to do with it, we tell each other: ”Next time will be the right one for changes!” I hope in the next time!
Journalist I know. But is there a place in the world where it would be easier to start developing and launching on the market, US for example, thanks to the advantageous circumstances? In other words, is that a problem of rules, or related to how the regulations are applied in a given place?
Andrea Marella I think that the regulation imposed by ENAC, that is one of the first ones adopted in Europe, still have space to correct and improve. Anyway they’re becoming aware of the problem, giving openness. For example the opportunity to fly with UAV less than 300g at 100m height on urban areas is a great possibility. On the other hand, we have UAV producers and workers, who have already invested resources and sums of money, and they’re ready to enter the market. There’s still lack of something due to, well you know in Italy, bureaucracy. For example, the need to send declaration to ENAC, ask authorizations… All these require time, days or months… more likely months! Next January probably a new application on the ENAC website will be born, that will be very helpful to simplify the procedures. I trust in this opportunity!
Journalist From your point of view, what you see in the next two years? Because, as you know, the UAV sector has lots of practical uses… I’d like to know your thoughts – which applications are going to have an immediate development? And what is going to happen within the next two years?
Andrea Marella Generally speaking about drones, I think that monitoring applications related to agriculture will be the biggest, and the first to grow, due to ease of work in open spaces, without constraints, safely. Next, there are research centers dealing with the general environment monitoring; I mean infrastructure monitoring, land monitoring, or related to wind farms, or, as we do, in the field of traffic monitoring.
Journalist So an uncertain future, not well defined…
Andrea Marella No, I wouldn’t say so. We’re optimistic, we don’t want to be negative. We believe that 2016 will be a crucial year for the real growth, and that we are going to see the number of flying drones increasing. Once we are able to fly them easily, we’ll have to decide how to optimize for usefulness: then we will be ready to take advantage of it!
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Traffic Data Collection in Brazil

We worked on another demo video from Brazil, from Certare engenharia e consultoria. They perform a lot of turning movement and origin-destination counting. The camera was placed on a Phantom 3 professional from DJI, which was positioned perfectly over the area. It was one of the numerous junctions in Fortaleza, a junction of two one-way streets.

Traffic flow at the site is 2136 vehicles/hour.

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Video from center of Charlottenlund, Denmark

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.

Video

Map

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Motorcycle traffic monitoring and interaction research

Every now and then, an unique and interesting use case for DataFromSky comes up. The Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering at National Technical University of Athens is planning to use DataFromSky for traffic monitoring – to study interactions between powered two-wheelers (PTW) and other vehicles. They have already published a number of papers, dealing with powered two-wheelers’ overtaking in context of game theory or modelling based on multivariate statistics [1][2].

The smaller size of PTWs makes it possible to keep moving and overtaking even in conditions where cars are immobilized. In some countries, PTWs are either a dominant form of traffic, or take up a large share. Given these facts, there is a lot of opportunities to build a better understanding of their interactions – and hopefully also safety in these situations.

Below is a short video which we analyzed as a demonstration for the Greek scientists.

[1] Barmpounakis, Emmanouil N., Eleni I. Vlahogianni, and John C. Golias (2015). “A Game Theoretic Approach to Powered Two Wheelers Overtaking Phenomena.” Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting. No. 15-1425

[2] Barmpounakis, E.N., Vlahogianni, E.I., & Golias, J.C. (2016). Intelligent Transportation Systems and Powered Two Wheelers Traffic, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 17(4), 908-916. http://doi.org/10.1109/TITS.2015.2497406

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