Computerized Traffic Data Analysis System

Report No: 76-R21

Published in 1975

About the report:

The techniques of collecting detailed traffic data for a given site are well known. A popular method uses chart recorders in combination with various vehicle sensing devices, such as tape switches, to provide an accurate pictorial display of the traffic flow, The human effort required to decipher these "pictures" is typically equal to or greater than the time required to gather the data. When considering the case where multiple lanes and multiple sites are to be monitored simultaneously, it becomes clear that the human effort to evaluate the data is disproportionately high. This paper discusses a specially designed data acquisition system that includes both the hardware to reliably collect traffic data from up to forty sensors, and the software (computer programs) to provide results analyzed in a comprehensive yet concise form. The hardware consists of a main control unit that utilizes computer compatible magnetic tape for data storage and four remote terminals each with ten possible inputs. There are two programs in the software package; a general purpose program that reads the magnetic tape and generates a data file, and a special purpose program that can be modified to analyze the data in accordance with the needs of the researcher.

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.


Other Authors

Jerry L. Korf, Frank D. Shepard

Last updated: January 29, 2024

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