6 Reasons Video Is the Best Way to Count Traffic Data

By: Miovision Team | Jul 08, 2024
a top-down view of a busy city intersection

Image Source: Canva

 

Inductive loops, radar, magnetic sensors—these are three of the many methods you can use to count traffic data. However, what all of them have in common is that they pale in comparison to using video for your traffic data collection. Let us explain. 

Video traffic counters to collect traffic data increase the quality of study results through a combination of technologies—camera, video processing, and AI algorithms—that work to provide verifiable, accurate, and reliable data and insights. Video-based equipment also reduces the risk of injury for road workers and users because it safely deploys at the side of the road or multi-use pathways. 

In this blog, we’ll give you six reasons why you should invest in a video traffic counter (or several) as you’re looking to make traffic headway in your community.

 

1. High Accuracy 

The oft-spoken expression “seeing is believing” absolutely applies when discussing traffic vehicle counters. They capture precise data; they count vehicles and pedestrians with minimal error to enable the most detailed analysis possible. 

Let’s compare that to a road tube. This method, while cost-effective, is prone to over-counting vehicles due to a variety of reasons. This is especially true in areas with dense vehicle traffic or those in which vehicles are traveling at low speeds. 

Ultimately, this improved accuracy is key to getting the most out of your studies. The last thing any traffic official wants is to invest time, money, and energy into a study only to find the data gathered by their traffic counter equipment is inaccurate. 

 

2. Ability to Collect Multimodal Data 

Unlike other kinds of traffic vehicle counters, video, as we mentioned, is capable of differentiating between different types of travelers. This allows traffic professionals to collect and analyze multimodal data in their studies. 

Being able to differentiate between cars, buses, trucks, bikers, and pedestrians is crucial when trying to understand the full scope of a road network. Traffic in big cities and dense urban areas is complex; multimodal data is needed to understand it. 

A traffic counter camera is also capable of logging turning data, unlike road sensors that cannot be equipped with the required technology. 

close-up of a car driving over a road tube

Image Source: Canva

 

3. Safer & Non-Intrusive

Unlike road tubes or other sensors in the road, video traffic counters are non-intrusive, reducing road maintenance and minimizing disruption to traffic flow.

Consider how contractors must shut down the entire roadway and dig up the asphalt when installing road sensors. That’s assuming they can even shut down the road, which is often not possible at busy intersections. That leaves them to install these sensors while managing traffic, exposing them to serious collision risks. 

Using a video-based traffic vehicle counter reduces hassle and danger. They can be installed above street level during quiet times of the day to keep everyone safe. This keeps your crew members safe while also limiting inconveniences for local drivers. 

This improved safety also extends to retrieving devices. Rather than having to undergo a similar process and rip up the road to retrieve the sensor for collection, crews can easily retrieve the traffic counter camera without being at risk.

 

4. Fewer Repairs

In-road sensors degrade rapidly when exposed to heavy traffic, as is often the case in areas where they are installed. Further complicating things is how repairing them requires undergoing the same unsafe process as installing them: endangering road workers by having them close lanes and rip them out of the ground. Worst of all is how data collectors often don’t discover they’ve been broken until they retrieve them at the end of a study. 

While a video traffic counter will cost more than its in-road counterpart, they’re also built to last, are exposed to much less wear and tear, and break far less often. 

 

5. Remote Monitoring

Video traffic counters allow for remote data collection and real-time monitoring, which has extensive benefits in traffic studies. 

The first is how it minimizes the need for on-site presence, saving crew members valuable time and resources. It also improves safety, because, as discussed, sending them out into busy traffic is putting them at risk of a collision.

Real-time data collection via traffic counter cameras also allows authorities to respond promptly to incidents, congestion, or accidents. This enhances overall traffic management and reduces disruptions for commuters. They can see what’s happening as it’s happening, rather than being forced to analyze traffic well after it has passed. 

a man analyzing data on his computer

Image Source: Canva

 

6. Video is Future-Proof

While advancements in technology have already begun phasing out in-road sensors, video remains compatible with whatever comes next. 

Video traffic vehicle counters can be easily integrated into smart intersection systems and upgraded with new firmware as needed. They’re not constrained by analog technology, working instead on the cloud to keep traffic officials up to date. 

You can also easily integrate other data sources—such as GPS or GIS—to view traffic patterns holistically. By integrating these data, urban planners, traffic engineers, and infrastructure developers can make more informed decisions.

 

Introducing the Future of Traffic Counters: Miovision Scout® Plus 

A reliable traffic counter camera is the best choice for traffic professionals looking to collect accurate and reliable data safely. They’re smarter, safer, and more scalable than other traffic counter equipment on the market.

Scout Plus from Miovision is the answer if you’re looking to replace your existing traffic counters or looking to get started with data collection. This durable and lightweight camera collects all data types, operates with verifiable accuracy, and has the safest and fastest deployment for comprehensive data collection studies.

Contact us today for more information