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5 Reasons Why Vehicle Detection Systems are Pivotal in Road Traffic Monitoring

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Advancement in techniques has made video image data more widely available.

Consequently, the latest improved applications and video image data have contributed to the up-gradation of on-road vehicle detection algorithms.

But why is Vehicle Detection Important?  And What role does it play in road traffic monitoring?

Common Sensor Technologies for Vehicle Detectors

Before we get to the applications of Vehicle Detection Systems and related technology, let’s take a look at some of the common sensor tech used as vehicle detectors.

A wide range of technologies, including traffic sensors, is used to maintain a seamless flow of traffic and monitor road traffic.

From sensor technologies to vehicle detectors, the technology used for Vehicle Detection is limitless.

Some of the common types of techs used for vehicle detection are listed below:

  • Video Image Processors (VIPs):A VIP is used to detect the speed, count, presence, and occupancy of a vehicle developed. It can either be a conventional TV camera or even an infrared camera.
  • Infrared Detectors: IR detectors can be operated during the day and even during the night. Active IRs are used for monitoring count, occupancy, and the presence of vehicles, while passive IRs detect energy emitted by objects in the field of view.
  • Ultrasonic Detectors: They come in two types, speed measuring and presence-only, both of which transmit ultrasonic energy to measure the energy reflected by a target.
  • Microwave Wave Radar: These measure the energy reflected by a target through which the detectors determine the speed, presence, and occupancy of a vehicle.

The Role of Vehicle Detection Systems in Road Traffic Monitoring 

Vehicle Detection plays an integral role in Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Here are some of the applications of vehicle detection systems:

Monitor Vehicle Volume 

For all Intelligent Transportation Systems and Traffic Engineering Analyses, detecting vehicle volume is crucial.

Traffic management and planning primarily involve measuring not just the vehicle volume but also its composition. This includes speed, congestion, gap, and the class of the vehicle.

High-quality sensors detect the vehicle volume most accurately and provide information on vehicle volume in detail.

The development of an appropriate transport policy depends on the data collected by these sensors.

This policy ensures the seamless flow of goods and passengers not only to the government and private sectors.

Detect Vehicle Speed and Speed Enforcement

Sensors and related technology are used to collect data that focuses on a single vehicle’s speed applications.

Road operators must gather data on the frequency and duration of road congestions and provide it to authorities which makes these technologies pivotal to traffic monitoring systems.

Another reason for their growing popularity is the ever-increasing demand for data on the number and type of speeding vehicles and the relative distribution of vehicle speeds. This data is vital to environmental studies.

Vehicle Counting

From Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and highway planning to traffic engineering analyses and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), vehicle counting via axle detection supports almost all fields of Road Traffic Monitoring.

Sensors based on fiber optic sensor technology provide maximum accuracy when it comes to axle counting.

They collect vehicular characteristic data. This makes monitoring and managing traffic flows in real-time much easier for road operators.

Thanks to optic fiber tech-based sensors developed by computer vision company, traffic flows can be managed in real-time but at a minimal cost.

Variations in high-performance sensors mean that there is a specific sensor for each traffic monitoring application in several operational areas.

Vehicle Classification

Automatic Vehicle Classification involves collecting data on every vehicle through sensors and classifying them into predefined categories.

This type of data is pivotal to Electronic Toll Collection systems.

Sensors for AVC applications are usually installed in operational areas, including highway-speed Multi-Lane Free-Flow (MLFF) gentries and the stop-and-go toll plazas.

Congestion Determination

Traffic routes and the creation of new traffic concepts are usually determined based on traffic density.

Capacity analysis and studies depend on the collection and reporting of headway and gap information. For such purposes, short-duration counts prove to be very useful.

Permanent traffic monitoring sensors are ideal for long and short duration counts, and the data they collect is vital in maintenance planning.


The importance of vehicle detection technology in Road Traffic Monitoring cannot be ignored. Infrared Detectors, Video Image Processors, and Microwave Wave Radar, etc., play a significant role in ensuring smooth flow of traffic and route maintenance.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.