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Home | DTI | 2008–09 funded proposals | Nikolas Geroliminis, Ted Morris, Jerry Kotzenmacher

Initiatives in Digital Technology: 2008–09 Funded Proposals

Nikolas Geroliminis, Ted Morris, Jerry Kotzenmacher

Investigation of Flash LADAR 3D Imaging Sensor Technology For Non-Intrusive Roadside Traffic Measurements

Although there are now a myriad of commercial non-intrusive traffic measurement devices currently on the market, they are incapable of supporting applications of intersection collision avoidance, pedestrian safety, turning movement counts, and other complex traffic behaviors as well as providing a needed visual record of events. Accordingly, the state-of-the art in academia has focused on real-time vision based tracking algorithms. Although considerable efforts have been devoted to this approach, they are mired by various errors and deficiencies that have precluded them from becoming commercial products. Ranging sensors have recently received attention for these applications because they avoid some of the complexities associated with image processing approaches. However, a visual record of the scene is not attainable and data extraction is still complicated by occlusions and field of view. The sensor we are proposing to evaluate is what we believe is missing from both state-of-the-art technologies.

We propose to investigate the use of 3D Flash LADAR sensing technology which captures depth images in real-time. The utilization of the proposed sensor has the potential to acquire detailed traffic behavior measurements as well as providing a 3D point image of the actual events. Unlike traditional cameras, the time-lapsed 3D depth points can be visualized from any perspective, which may lead to a better understanding of the observed data. Potentially, the sensor could be used for road-side pedestrian/vehicle and vehicle/vehicle collision avoidance systems, law enforcement and speed detection, and as a general traffic measurement device.

Our objective is to field test the sensors capabilities by detecting and identifying moving vehicles at a high volume road facility. Since the LADAR range sensor has not been evaluated as a fixed roadside traffic measurement sensor, the experimental data and analysis will provide a basis for novel and improved sensing applications in traffic safety and traffic operations.