An Evaluation of Technologies for Automated Detection and Classification of Pedestrians and Bicylists

Massachusetts Highway Department & Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

A study of automated detection technologies was undertaken as part of the Massachusetts Highway Department (MassHighway) Research Program. The objective of this research was to identify and evaluate existing technologies that may accurately and efficiently detect, count, and classify non-motorized modes of transportation (i.e., pedestrians and bicyclists). In addition to accuracy and efficiency, other critical criteria considered included: applicability to both on-road and off-road locations; flexibility in detecting and classifying non-motorized activity under multiple conditions; portability; and cost effectiveness.

The research process began by identifying detection technologies currently used in the transportation industry. Microwave, ultrasonic, acoustic, video image processing, piezoelectric, passive infrared, active infrared, magnetic, and traditional (inductive loops and pneumatic traffic classifiers) were considered. The research team selected active infrared for further
analysis. An Autosense II Active Infrared Imaging Sensor was purchased and evaluated.

Filed in: Community Problems and Solutions, Engineering, Plans and Policies

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