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Rethinking Vehicle Speed Detection Systems – The need & challenges

Good road infrastructure and better traffic management can have a powerful multiplier effect for India. As it will enhance accessibility, facilitate more trade, improve mobility, generate greater employment opportunities, and boost the overall economic productivity.

One of the significant steps taken by the Government of India is setting its vision to become a “toll plaza free” -> multi-lane free-flow tolling country. This will help the Government reduce leakages in toll collection and money transfer by unlocking the power of technology. And for citizens, it will give unhindered access to the massive highway infrastructure.

What we as a country also need is a better technological solution to be deployed at scale to control the alarming rise of fatal accidents on Indian roads where 414 people are killed every day in accidents.

Overspeeding is cited as the most common cause of deaths on roads in India, with 64% of road deaths because of speeding. 60% of the accidents in India occur on highways, mostly because of speeding. And highways comprise only about 5% of the total road network. This means that India’s vision for free-flow tolling will definitely need to consider a mechanism to keep over speeding at control. And the most deaths due to speeding were in Rajasthan (9,618 deaths), followed by Tamil Nadu (9,224 deaths) and Karnataka (8,714 deaths). 

The good news is all these accidents are avoidable if we could rethink our traffic management principles on an urgent basis with tech-enabled Vehicle Speed Detection Systems.

Road accidents cost India, 3-5% of its GDP. With the country’s vision to emerge as a USD 5 trillion economy and a global economic powerhouse by 2024-25, this would be a significant deterrent towards the vision.

How can better ‘vehicle speed detection’ help?

An increase in average speed is directly related both to the likelihood of a crash occurring and to the severity of the consequences of the crash. For example, every 1% increase in mean speed produces a 4% increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase in the serious crash risk. Detecting speed, and having adaptive traffic lighting (in which traffic signal timing changes, or adapts, based on actual traffic demand) can drastically bring down fatal crashes. 

This will, in turn, reduce the impact road accidents have on India’s GDP.

But, how do we currently detect speed violations? And why is it not effective?

India’s various traffic management units and state traffic departments use a variety of speed detection solutions mentioned below and are still not able to proactively detect overspeeding – the most common cause of deaths on roads. 

  • Radar-based speed guns

They work on the principle of the Doppler Effect. The device or the speed gun emits radio waves at a set frequency which is reflected back by the target vehicles. The speed of the vehicle is calculated by the device from the difference in the frequency of the reflected radio waves and the transmitted waves.

The shortcoming of radar system – Radar has wide signal beam divergence which means that an individual vehicle cannot be targeted, requiring significant operator skill, training, and certification on the traffic personnel in order to visually estimate speed so as to locate an offender and offenders may use the defense that some other vehicle was offending. Radar-based speed guns register the speed of any object in its field, for example, a tree swaying or an airplane passing overhead.

  • LIDAR detectors

Since the 2000s LIDAR has been gradually replacing radar, they come with a narrow beam, and so can easily target an individual vehicle, thereby eliminating the need for visual estimation, and certain LIDAR based devices are capable of recording an image of the vehicle license plate at the same instant as recording the speed violation.

But both LIDAR (relatively more expensive) and radar-based devices are subject to cosine error effect.

  • High-speed camera-based detection systems

These speed cameras are capable of recording vehicles on the road so that speeding cars can be detected are generally fixed to gantries that tower over bigger roads, highways, or attached to traffic lights, these systems use both lasers as well as infrared technology to calculate the speed of moving vehicles.

  • Video-based speed detection system

Current video-based systems involve CCTV recording & manual monitoring, which lack proactive monitoring of speed violation detections due to heavy human dependency.

Shortcomings of existing Speed Violation Detection (SVD) systems making them ineffective

  • Radar-based speed guns, used largely by traffic personnel are not capable of detecting the precise speed of individual vehicles. 
  • In India, most of the imported Speed Violation Detection (SVD) are not capable of detecting precisely Indian vehicle number plates 
  • Existing solutions are not capable of integrations for automatic challan generation, to issue fines in real-time for overspeeding. 
  • They have a heavy human dependency and are not capable of continuous monitoring 24*7​

How should we rethink a ‘Modern Speed Violation Detection System’ (MSVD)?

To start with, the vision for such a platform or technology should be to make roads at large safer and reduce traffic congestion. As India adds more vehicles on its roads there is a need for real-time intelligence to respond to road crashes, it should be a platform that is able to process information in real-time to come up with the best way to move traffic in cases of accidents.

The platform must come with the following ‘must have’ features –

  • Visual proof for Speed Violation Detection with > 99% accuracy
  • Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) – exact vehicle number plate capture for an over speeding vehicle as part of the visual proof report
  • Precise Average Speed Detection – Individual vehicle speed at a specific point & average speed calculation between any 2 points
  • E-services integration to automatically generate e-challan for speed violations
  • Real-time display of overspeeding on ​​LED screens on gantries displaying exact speed and vehicle details lane-wise.

Pixuate the pioneer in the field of traffic technology has built a state-of-the-art Modern Speed Violation Detection System (MSVD) as part of its larger vision to build intelligent transportation tech for cities, highways, toll plazas, parking spaces, and enterprises.

The Pixuate platform comes with all these features and more importantly with a major edge over existing Speed Violation Detection (SVD) systems in the form of –

  • No Hardware Dependency (uses off-the-shelf H/W) – Software-based & CAPEX light
  • Customizable solution for different states and regulations at best in class price
  • Fastest learning curve and lowest training cost for end-users (With complete localization support)
  • Remote assistance/maintenance with over the air software updates 

In short, Pixuate has built the most advanced video intelligence Speed Violation Detection capable of detecting up to 180 kmph speed with visual proof & vehicle number plate recognition.

At Pixuate, we will be happy to dive deeper into our vision for traffic tech that powers the cities for tomorrow, our vision for the future of urban traffic management systems, and how we built the world’s most advanced speed violation detection. Do drop us a note at sales@pixuate.com.