Published in 2004
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has invested in extensive closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems to monitor freeways in urban areas. Generally, these devices are installed as part of freeway management systems (Smart Traffic Centers [STCs]). Although CCTVs have proven to be very effective in supporting incident management, they simply provide images that must be interpreted by trained operators--not measures of traffic conditions (such as flow rate and average speeds). A previous study completed by the University of Virginia and Virginia Transportation Research Council concluded, however, that it is feasible to integrate CCTV with video image vehicle detection systems (VIVDS) currently on the market to provide the ability to measure traffic conditions. The purpose of this research effort was to develop, deploy, and evaluate an integrated CCTV/VIVDS system (referred to as Phase II Autotrack) in an operational STC. Based on a field evaluation at the Hampton Roads STC, it was concluded that Phase II Autotrack effectively measures traffic volumes and that the system effectively measures speed during daylight conditions. This proves that an integrated CCTV/VIVDS system should be aggressively developed and finalized to supplement, and at times, replace, existing loop detectors in Virginia. For example, if VDOT were to replace only one quarter of the loops in the Hampton Roads STC with integrated CCTV/VIVDS, it is estimated that the agency would realize a capital/installation savings of $4.9 million and would reduce operating costs by $230,000 per year. Based on these conclusions, the following recommendations have been offered to VDOT: 1. VDOT's Mobility Management Division should coordinate the installation and use of Phase II Autotrack at four existing CCTV locations throughout the Commonwealth. 2. The Virginia Transportation Research Council should continue the development of Phase II Autotrack in order to improve speed measurement performance. 3. The Virginia Transportation Research Council should develop a Phase III Autotrack to investigate the use of additional image-processing capabilities to support STC operations.
Seong J. Namkoong, Hema Tanikella, Brian L. Smith, Ph.D.
Last updated: November 28, 2023