Flir Detection Sensors Make Roads Safer and Improve the Performance of Traffic Flows

Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands is using thermal detection sensors from FLIR to control traffic lights at intersections, so traffic flow becomes smoother, more efficient, reduce congestion and vehicle idling.

A pedestrian crossing push-buttons are installed at traffic lights in many cities around the world. It is a popular and reliable way to keep pedestrians moving safely. However, there is one major disadvantage: if somebody pushed the button, the light would be changed to green, whether pedestrians are present. This becomes a problem because sometimes, pedestrians approach the crossing, press the button, but then left it. Also, in the majority of locations where push-buttons are installed, the pedestrian “walk” indication does not light up immediately, so some impatient pedestrians start to cross a street before the green walk signal appears. It leads to vehicle idling because traffic must still stop and wait for the automated cycle to finish, even though the crosswalk is empty.

The city of Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, faced this problem. City officials noticed that it is necessary to optimize traffic flows to reduce congestion, air pollution, and less vehicle idling time. The city decided to install detection sensors by FLIR Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Improving the overall efficiency of traffic flows

The city recently decided to utilize around 150 detection sensors by FLIR to detect whether pedestrians intend to cross the road and to confirm push-button requests for “walk” signal. If the sensor sees that someone has approached the crossing but then left, it will cancel the green-light request.

Gaby Steenhoven, Haarlemmermeer’s manager of Traffic Light Control, said that pedestrians disregard traffic rules very often and cross a road before the “walk” indication has been activated. City officials are hoping that the solution by FLIR improves signalization and enhance the overall efficiency of traffic flows.

Thermal pedestrian sensor

Haarlemmermeer opted for the FLIR TrafiOne. TrafiOne is an all-in-one sensor for traffic monitoring and dynamic traffic signal control. Sensors optimize traffic flows by adapting traffic signal timings based on the presence detection of pedestrians, even in adverse weather and low light conditions. With FLIR’s pedestrian sensors, the city has been able to make roads safer, reduce traffic congestion, and optimize traffic capacity.

Thermal sensors detect the presence of vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians and can provide uninterrupted 24-hour detection even in total darkness or in direct sunlight. A thermal detection solution by FLIR is a reliable solution for pedestrian detection that provides smooth traffic flow and helps to keep moving safely.

The UK Department for Transport conducted the research. It had shown that 32 percent of pedestrian demands were canceled when curbside detection was used at signalized crossroads with an all-red pedestrian stage. As a result, after installing the FLIR’s system in Haarlemmermeer, intersections and pedestrian crossings became safer and more efficient for all road users.

By Anastasia Golubeva

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