Australian developer and supplier of traffic monitoring equipment MetroCount is launching a new bicycle and pedestrian counting system today (April 4) at Traffex 2017, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.
Accurately monitoring active modes of transportation is a difficult problem to master. On shared paths, separating pedestrians and bicycles from a stream of similar objects, such as prams, shopping trolleys and skateboards, is a unique challenge. Both people and cyclists often travel in groups, making it even more difficult to accurately count each person or bike. To add further complexity to the problem, cyclists are people, but they should not mistakenly be counted as pedestrians. Engineers at the MetroCount R&D facility in Perth, Australia, have gained a strong understanding of these challenges, over many years of research, and applied their expertise in piezoelectric sensor technology to develop a world first bike and people counter: the RidePod BP.
The new system’s hardware comprises two piezoelectric sensors embedded in the pavement, which are connected to the RidePod BP counter roadside unit (RSU) to record both bicycle axles and pedestrian footfalls. Firstly, with advanced bicycle axle detection algorithms, the system identifies and separates bike traffic. Next, non-bike recordings are processed to detect passersby, resulting in a reliable and consistent pedestrian volume. Both of these traffic streams are available for analysis in the one dataset that describes the shared path traffic.
The RidePod BP system is robust and will record accurate statistics year-round, in extreme conditions, without the need for regular maintenance. Enclosed in a solar-powered cabinet, the counter is compatible with MetroCount’s FieldPod Remote Access technology, which will enable remote access to facilitate data download, system diagnostics, and analysis services.
Like all MetroCount systems, the RidePod BP uses the company’s Traffic Executive software for setup and data analysis. The Shared Path Scheme included in MTE V5x has been developed to capture active transportation modes. Additionally, the software offers a variety of cycling reports, such as directional information, speed and traffic gaps. The ability to combine pedestrian, bike and vehicle analysis with the MTE interface provides a quick and easy way for planners and engineers to evaluate active transport efforts. The software technology used to compute pedestrian volumes can be applied to existing RidePod BP sites, and historical data files from current ‘cycle-only’ sites can be unlocked to reveal years of pedestrian statistics.