Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-based Traffic Analysis: A Case Study to Analyze Traffic Streams at Urban Roundabouts

Recently, multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) or drones have become increasingly popular for a vast variety of civil applications. Efficient traffic data collection and extraction of various flow parameters are some of the futuristic applications of this technology. However, such applications still need to be streamlined and thoroughly explored for varying traffic and infrastructural conditions. In this paper, the focus is on the authentication of the application of small multirotor UAVs for traffic data collection and subsequent analysis of traffic streams at urban roundabouts. This paper presents an analytical methodology to evaluate the performance of roundabouts by extracting various parameters and performance indicators. The performance evaluation methodology is based on: (i) determining traffic volume via OD matrices for each leg, and (ii) analyzing drivers’ behavior via gap-acceptance analysis. The overall analytical process is principally based on the authors’ previously proposed automated UAV video-processing framework for the extraction of vehicle trajectories. The extracted trajectories are further employed to extract useful traffic information. The experimental data to analyse roundabout traffic flow conditions was obtained in the city of Sint-Truiden (Belgium). The results reflect the value of flexibility and bird-eye view provided by UAV videos; thereby depicting the overall applicability of the UAV-based traffic analysis system. With the significant increase in the usage of UAVs expected in the coming years, such studies could become a useful resource for practitioners as well as future researchers. The future research will mainly focus on further extensions of the UAV-based traffic applications.


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  • Accession Number: 01676939
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 26 2018 9:38AM