Regular Articles

Image-processing algorithms for detecting and counting vehicles waiting at a traffic light

[+] Author Affiliations
Ernesto de la Rocha

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Instituto de Investigación Tecnológica, Alberto Aguilera 23, 28015 Madrid, Spain

Rafael Palacios

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Instituto de Investigación Tecnológica, Alberto Aguilera 23, 28015 Madrid, Spain

J. Electron. Imaging. 19(4), 043025 (December 21, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3528465
History: Received March 18, 2010; Revised October 05, 2010; Accepted November 04, 2010; Published December 21, 2010; Online December 21, 2010
Text Size: A A A

Traffic lights at most road intersections operate on a fixed timing schedule that leads to suboptimal traffic management, with unnecessary delays, higher fuel consumption, and higher emissions. Traffic management can be improved by installing inductive loops; however, installation involves temporary road closures and high maintenance costs, especially if there is normally a lot of heavy traffic on the road. We present a vehicle detection and counting system based on digital image-processing techniques. These images can be taken by digital cameras installed at the top of existing traffic lights. By using the proposed approach, it is possible to detect the number of vehicles waiting on each side of the intersection, hence, providing the necessary information for optimal traffic management. Results achieved after testing this methodology on three real intersections are promising, attaining high accuracy during the day (98.8%) and the night (91.3%) while counting several vehicles at the same time. Hence, the system is equivalent to installing multiple inductive loops in all the streets of the intersection, but with lower installation and maintenance costs. After integrating the proposed algorithms into a traffic-management system, it was possible to reduce fuel and CO2 emissions by half compared to the standard fixed-time scheduler.

Figures in this Article
© 2010 SPIE and IS&T

Citation

Ernesto de la Rocha and Rafael Palacios
"Image-processing algorithms for detecting and counting vehicles waiting at a traffic light", J. Electron. Imaging. 19(4), 043025 (December 21, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3528465


Tables

Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Book Chapters

Topic Collections

PubMed Articles
Advertisement
  • Don't have an account?
  • Subscribe to the SPIE Digital Library
  • Create a FREE account to sign up for Digital Library content alerts and gain access to institutional subscriptions remotely.
Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Chapter

Access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions and is not available as part of a personal subscription. Print or electronic versions of individual SPIE books may be purchased via SPIE.org.