Automatic Pedestrian Counter

Emerging sensor technologies accelerated the shift toward automatic pedestrian counting methods to acquire reliable long-term data for transportation design, planning, and safety studies. Although a number of commercial pedestrian sensors are available, their accuracy under different pedestrian traffic flow conditions is still questionable. Moreover, it is difficult to assess the suitability of different sensors for different locations. Some sensors claimed to be more accurate are substantially more expensive. Ease of deployment, power requirements, and long-term deployment issues all play an important role in the selection of sensors. This study attempts to shed light on the understanding of field performance of two commercially available automatic pedestrian sensors by performing rigorous comparisons—namely, a passive infrared counter by EcoCounter and a thermal sensor by TrafSys. A major innovation of this study was to simultaneously deploy the two relatively different sensor technologies—thermal and infrared sensors—under the same experimental conditions to compare their performances. To achieve this in a statistically robust manner, pairwise tests were conducted at trails and intersections with different pedestrian flow levels and characteristics. Statistically significant differences in terms of accuracy were found. The thermal sensor was found to produce less error than EcoCounter, which significantly undercounted pedestrians at intersections. This result was expected since EcoCounter is recommended for trail settings. The results also demonstrated the variability of both sensors given different deployment conditions. A calibration procedure for the EcoCounter data was also presented.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 113p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154730
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-NJ-2010-001
  • Created Date: Apr 14 2010 3:46PM