Jun 5, 2020
Understanding Your Blindspots
Data is one of the most valuable resources for any organization and for a transport agency it is no different. Easy-to-use and accurate data provides the foundations for any major transportation decision including where to build new roads and how to optimize traffic signals. With recent advances in detection technologies, transport agencies are no longer solely reliant on infrequent traffic surveys and field observation and have been able to save time and costs on data collection. But how do you know if this data is accurate?
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so"
Mark Twain
Most detection comes with a manufacturer’s accuracy rating of +/- 10% (depending on the type of technology or the prevailing conditions) but that’s when the detector is fully-functional. Detector faults are a persistent issue and the source of the majority of complaints for any Traffic Operations team — not only does this mean poor road-user experience, it also means your operations teams are spending the majority of their time hearing about and dealing with complaints.

Detector faults can either be (1) periodic — meaning that detector counts are incorrect for a short and temporary period of time or (2) persistent — the detector counts are persistently inaccurate. The latter can have the most impact on your roadways and are the hardest to find.

More Accurate Data with Flow Labs

At Flow Labs, we use our proprietary Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence platform to combine a multitude of different datasets (including your existing detection and connected vehicle data) to build a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of traffic patterns on your road networks.

During a recent project with Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), we were able to help them understand traffic volumes on one of their key networks, in the process enabling them to better understand their current detection accuracy and the results were staggering.
Of the 24 detectors on the main-line corridor, only 25% were within +/- 10% accuracy and some were more than 90% out. With that level of data accuracy your teams are close to shooting in the dark.

Why Care About Accuracy?

With this data, agencies like UDOT can:
  • Identify faulty detectors before they can impact road-users — meaning fewer complaints and lower maintenance costs.
  • Differentiate between detection types and make better procurement decisions.
  • Have more reliable data for signal optimization and planning purposes.

With the world changing faster than ever, it’s important to know exactly what is happening on your roadways. This will enable you and your teams to make better and more proactive traffic management decisions, deliver better road-user experience with fewer complaints and improve safety at your intersections.
Flow Labs technologies like Predictive Traffic Control (PTC) enable you to spend less, deploy faster and see results quicker. For more information please contact us at sales@flowlabs.ai.
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