Traffic jam statistics for Moscow, Russia, are not very encouraging, to say the least. In order to tackle its heavy traffic congestion problem, the city of Moscow recently started with the development of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). To smoothen the traffic flows along signalized intersections, Moscow called upon the expertise of FLIR Systems. More than 3,000 TrafiCam X-Stream vehicle presence sensors will make sure traffic signal cycles are adapted to the actual traffic.
With up to 16 million people and roughly six million cars during the day, Moscow is among the largest urban centers in Europe and it is growing rapidly. This results in very high traffic density. Moscow was recently ranked number one in a congestion index of the world’s major cities. The average time it takes to get from one point to another during rush hour is not only increasing, Moscow also has the highest percentage of delays versus other cities, with Istanbul, Warsaw and Marseille being the three other most congested towns after Russia’s capital.
In order to tackle this problem, Moscow city authorities mandated the creation of ITS Moscow, a joint project between the federal government and city officials, which is aimed at fighting the city’s traffic jams. A total of €200m is to be invested in an ITS as part of the project, which is expected to last through 2015. ITS Moscow includes the development and maintenance of an ITS, which aims to reduce major transport problems and traffic jams in the city. Officials hope that the system will lower traffic by more than 20%.
An important part of the ITS Moscow programme is the creation of so-called smart intersections, where smart sensors from FLIR Systems are monitoring the city traffic. More than 3,000 TrafiCam X-Stream vehicle presence sensors are installed at various busy road junctions controlled by traffic signals. With four TrafiCam X-Stream sensor units at each intersection, FLIR’s technology caters for the efficient operation of more than 750 intersections. By detecting both waiting and approaching vehicles, these intelligent all-in-one cameras will be used for the optimization of traffic signal timings. As such, FLIR’s TrafiCam X-Stream sensors will help cut down waiting times at traffic lights.
"Based on the information coming from the TrafiCam X-Stream sensors, this state-of-the art system can alter traffic signal cycles in real time to respond to changing traffic conditions," says Artem Kryvobok, International Business Development Manager at FLIR Systems.
"Once fully operational, the total amount of FLIR sensors is expected to significantly cut down waiting times at the Moscow traffic signals."
The TrafiCam X-Stream vehicle presence sensor combines a CMOS camera and video detector in one single unit. The integrated sensor is an affordable solution for the detection and monitoring of moving and stationary vehicles at signalized intersections. Via detection outputs or via IP protocol, vehicle presence information is transmitted to the traffic controller so that signal timing can be adjusted dynamically. This way, vehicle waiting time at traffic lights is reduced and traffic flows are optimized. The smart TrafiCam X-Stream sensors are a reliable alternative to inductive loops.
The FLIR TrafiCam series allows traffic operators to exactly position and verify the vehicle presence detection zones. Since these zones are displayed on a video image, they can easily be repositioned in case of changing traffic situations.
"A pilot project with TrafiCam X-Stream sensors from FLIR Systems was already carried out in the streets of Moscow in 2012," says Kryvobok.
"After thorough evaluation by the project authorities, the TrafiCam X-Stream was rated as the best technology solution. The FLIR sensor managed to provide good detection results, even in the heavily polluted conditions of Moscow. Due to high degree of vehicle emissions, the traffic camera lens can get dirty, which can jeopardize the detection. Fortunately, TrafiCam X-Stream had no issues with that."
Moscow City authorities also valued the ability to visualize the camera streams in the traffic management control room. TrafiCam X-Stream is an IP-addressable device that provides MPEG-4 or H.264 color streaming video at full-frame rate to the control center for general intersection surveillance. A user-friendly web interface allows the control room operators to manage their video sources online.
For more information, please contact FLIR.