SwRI launches automated traffic monitoring tool that uses existing cameras


The Texas-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has launched a new machine vision tool that transportation agencies can use to autonomously detect and report traffic condition changes at the ITS America Annual Meeting taking place from June 4-7 in Washington DC.

Developed in-house by the independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization, the SwRI ActiveVision system’s algorithms process camera data to provide real-time information on weather conditions and other anomalies affecting traffic congestion. Designed for integration with intelligent transportation systems (ITS), ActiveVision can be configured with existing traffic cameras to analyze roadway conditions with no human monitoring required. ActiveVision integrates with the SwRI-developed ActiveITS software in addition to other ITS and advanced traffic management systems (ATMS) used by state and local agencies across the country.

Using advanced computer vision and machine learning capabilities, ActiveVision can detect and report actionable condition changes and anomalies using live feeds from existing traffic cameras.

The systems’ key features include:

  • Constantly observes live traffic camera feeds and generates real-time traffic condition alerts;
  • No human monitoring required;
  • Cost-effective for state, county and city governments and municipalities;
  • Subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution;
  • Software upgrades at no added cost;
  • Improves safety for rural highways, urban intersections, and pedestrian walkways.

ActiveVision’s third party applications and integrations include:

  • Cell phone text alerts;
  • 511 ATIS (Advanced Traveler Information Systems) communications;
  • Emails or web-based map systems;
  • ATMS systems;
  • Mobile app integration.

A leader in transportation and traffic management software, SwRI has over 20 years of experience developing and deploying ITS software for state and local agencies. SwRI-developed intelligent transportation systems have been applied to more than 13,000 miles (21,000km) of urban and rural managed roadways in 10 states across the USA and Puerto Rico.

“The goal is to help transportation officials enhance their ITS capabilities with advanced algorithms that autonomously scan vast amounts of visual data, extracting and reporting actionable data,” explained Dan Rossiter, an SwRI research analyst leading the ActiveVision system’s development.

Steve Dellenback, vice president of SwRI’s Intelligent Systems Division, which specializes in traffic management systems and connected and automated vehicles, in addition to machine learning solutions used in autonomous robotics and markerless motion capture, added, “Work in the ITS arena inspired our team to find a solution that could be integrated agnostically into just about any advanced traffic management system, using existing cameras and infrastructure.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.