Traffic lights are essential parts of the roadside infrastructure. Today’s installations use static, time-based control algorithms and limited sensors to control the traffic streams passing the crossroads. Intelligent sensors encompassing complex situations are enablers for more efficient traffic flows, reduced waiting times and resulting violation of traffic rules and consequently accidents. Additionally, such sensor concepts can contribute to reducing pollutants beneficial for the environment.
The project Smart Traffic Light aims at developing novel concepts for intelligent sensor systems in the area of infrared and magnetic field sensors for the detection of different road users and pedestrians within complex situations to achieve the above mentioned goals.
The smart sensors and concepts being focus of this research project should detect multiple classes of traffic participants and be designed as cyber physical systems that can be integrated in the traffic light in an economic way.
Low pixel infrared sensors have been investigated for indoor environments. For the use in traffic control research has to be conducted to achieve the higher recognition range and detect different road users. Challenges lie in the higher number to road user classes and the harsher environmental conditions such as high ambient and background tempratures.
Magnetic sensors based on the GMR and TMR effect are the second technology to be investigated. In opposite to traditional magnetic sensors these sensors are characterized by an extreme high sensitivity also enabling them to detect lightmagnetic and paramagnetic objects. Research focus will be the fingerprinting of road users and the sensor fusion with data gained by the infrared sensors.
Sensor fusion is used to increase the reliability of the sensor data and to complement the picture of the traffic situation. Since the sensors are designed to only detect object classes and not individual objects or persons, the system also contributes to privacy very important to devices monitoring public areas.
This work is partially co-funded by the European Commission under the European Regional Development Fund according to article 4 ERDF and the county of Lower Austria.