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Cambridge ­niversity Builds Lamppost-Mounted Traffic-Counting Sensors

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Lampost-mounted traffic counting sensor

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are developing a lampost-mounted sensor that can count traffic.

Sensors would offer traffic authorities a better way to measure traffic flow, according to a team at the University of Cambridge. The researchers plan to mount a sensor on a lamppost, and say the low-resolution infra-red video camera would be easier and cheaper to install than building inductive loops into the road. They are using a sensor that was originally developed to track people in supermarket queues, and add that privacy should not be an issue because the resolution would not be high enough to make out license plates.

The team has installed a reprogrammed commercial Wi-Fi router inside the lamppost to enable it to communicate with their computer lab. "It is a small Linux machine that returns data from the sensor and makes it available to an authenticated Wi-Fi connection," says computer scientist David Evans. "It is a line-of-sight link, but it could quite easily be an ad-hoc network."

The team is developing a classification system, and is considering adding a microphone, to enable the sensor to differentiate a car from a cyclist or a bus. A library of data converting algorithms for different sensors, easing access to real-time and archived data, and software for isolating end-user applications from the sensors, also are part of the project.

From Electronics Weekly (UK)
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