On the radar

Advanced radar sensor technology embedded in traffic enforcement systems can help deliver precise measurements and decrease the risk of severe traffic offenses

This article was originally published in Traffic Technology International (TTI) Magazine (December 2022). You can preview the original version here (click).

Speeding and red-light running are two of the most frequent traffic offenses, increasing the risk of severe accidents and casualties immensely. When speeding, drivers have longer braking distances, and less time to notice danger and to react appropriately. Another scenario where drivers often miscalculate the risks is when running over a red light at a signalized intersection. Due to cross traffic, red-light running impedes a high crash potential. Right-angle crashes are particularly critical and often result in severe injuries.

Enforcing applicable speed limits and red-light running is considered the most effective tool for changing dangerous driving behavior and improving safety. The best way to detect violations is the use of specialized monitoring systems. A key component for such enforcement systems is advanced radar technology from smartmicro, which precisely measures the position and velocity vectors of all vehicles within their field of view in real-time. smartmicro technology enables built-in double redundant speed measurement with direct, very precise Doppler and range gate measurement. Compared to other technology such as lidar, smartmicro radars deliver precise measurement in 4D, with the four dimensions being: true speed, direct range, as well as direct azimuth (horizontal) and elevation (vertical) angle. Even the acceleration of vehicles can be calculated accurately. Multiple independent receiving antennas enable the highest measurement quality and capture rate and provide additional redundancy, making the sensors ideal for many different traffic enforcement applications.

Enforcement applications
In inter-urban areas, for example, smartmicro sensors are used for the measurement of per-vehicle speed on highways from a permanent stationary location. Meanwhile in urban areas, permanently installed enforcement solutions are often preferred to control slow-speed limit areas, such as school zones. At signalized traffic intersections, it is necessary to discourage red-light running on a regular basis to raise awareness of the offense itself as well as the consequences it may have. For best-in-class red-light enforcement smartmicro’s multi-lane, multi-object tracking sensors cover up to 10 traffic lanes and track up to 256 objects simultaneously in a wide 100-degree field of view.
Since the sensors provide high performance even at short distances, they can be installed behind or in front of the stop bar to detect both approaching and receding traffic. Additionally, the integrated Event Trigger Module allows for multiple, customizable trigger lines inside the field of view and for combining them with defined events or trigger signals by the overall enforcement solution.

In this way, smartmicro sensors are ready for easy integration into customer solutions and can be perfectly adjusted to the individual requirements of the traffic situation. The available setup tools, like the simple and intuitive smartmicro Traffic UI software, as well as the handheld target (speed) simulator for in-field testing and regular re-certification, make the installation and alignment of the sensors even easier. For simple integration into the customers’ systems, an application programming interface (API) is provided.
During road maintenance, portable speed monitoring systems like tripod-based solutions are advantageous. Moreover, smartmicro’s radar sensors can be easily integrated into police cars for mobile speed enforcement. In this application, the sensors are ideal for speed, tailgating, and other types of enforcement while driving. The sensor can measure the speed of multiple vehicles driving on three or more lanes simultaneously, both in front of and behind a car.