Phase III Autotrack: Integrated CCTVVIVDS Prototype Field Test: System Refinement and Development of Shoulder Detection

Report No: 06-CR2

Published in 2005

About the report:

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). While CCTVs have proven to be very effective in supporting incident management, they simply provide images that must be interpreted by trained operators. Recent studies completed by the University of Virginia (UVA) and the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) concluded, however, that it is feasible to integrate CCTV with video image vehicle detection systems (VIVDS), which are currently on the market, to provide the ability to measure traffic conditions. Given this positive result, it is advantageous to pursue other data collection applications of an integrated CCTV/VIVDS. The purpose of this project was to develop and field test a prototype CCTV/VIVDS integrated system (referred to as Phase III Autotrack) that adds the functionality of shoulder detection to the existing traffic data collection capabilities of the previous prototype (Phase II Autotrack). Shoulder detection allows STC operators to improve the safety and efficiency of the freeway system by rapidly responding to vehicles stopped or stalled on shoulders. Based on the results of this research, the following conclusions may be drawn concerning the feasibility of the new safety/security functionality of integrated CCTV/VIVDS systems: 1. An integrated CCTV/VIVDS system can be used to effectively identify shoulder events (stopped or slow-moving vehicles) under clear weather conditions. 2. An integrated CCTV/VIVDS system can be used to effectively identify shoulder events (stopped or slow-moving vehicles) under rainy conditions, if provisions are made to clear away drops from the camera lens. The Autotrack research program has proven that CCTV/VIVDS integration is feasible and beneficial. Benefits include the following: 1. Reduction in the number of devices installed in the field (and requiring maintenance) to support transportation management. 2. Reduction of the workload on operators in STCs by automating security scanning. 3. Increase in the safety and security of the traveling public by allowing for more comprehensive monitoring of shoulders. 4. Stimulation of CCTV/VIVDS commercial product development.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  •  Yi Qi, Yin Tang, Michael A. Perfater, Brian L. Smith, Ph.D., Catherine C. McGhee, P.E.

Last updated: November 27, 2023

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