Until 2010 the nationwide counting campaigns for the road traffic census (SVZ) were predominantly carried out by manual counting with tally sheets and manual clickers. In general manual counts are a reliable method for collecting traffic data – but especially in large surveys the supervision of the numerous counting personnel can get problematic. Indeed getting sufficient reliable staff to do the counts can be difficult. Missing or – what is even worse – incomplete counts lead to implausible results, which can call the credibility of the whole campaign into question.
Subsequent to the supervision and evaluation of the road traffic census (SVZ) in 2005, DTV-Verkehrsconsult worked on the replacement of manual counters by mobile, and reliable, automatic counting equipment in cooperation with the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. As a result, a new counting standard was developed, which is now established nationwide under the name of “Traffic Monitoring”.
The counting devices of the Traffic Monitoring are based on side – radar technology. They are integrated in weather proofed boxes or a standard roadside post. They are equipped with a GPS-module which allows the coordinates of the count location to be atached to the collected count data set. With its additional GPRS-module the data is automatically transmitted daily and therefore is ready for an immediate analysis. The radar systems of RTB GmbH & Co.KG were successfully tested and certified by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) as meeting the counting accuracy required by the “Technical supply conditions for roadway station units (TLS)” (original: Technische Lieferbedingungen für Streckenstationen). These side radar counters have a proved data quality comparable to those of automatic classifiers (loops)!
To make the installation and the adjustment for each counting site more easy, standard fundaments were developed from the industry, that are buried in the ground next to the road. Here the roadside posts can easily be inserted without any special tools. During a count the usual post is removed and changed into a “counting post”. The power supply is guaranteed by a rechargeable battery, which allows a continuous count up to 14 days.
With this new counting device a high-precision and mobile solution is available, that delivers continuous counts of traffic volumes for one week and additionally allows the measure of speed of each vehicle. Replacing standard roadside posts with the counting device avoids driver detection of the counter and hence measures real driver behaviour.
The traditional counting measures have been proved to be unreliable for night-time traffic data (overestimating HGV-volumes). However, the new monitoring system developed by us provides reliable data for HGVs. This data can be used to calculate more accurately traffic noise at night which is particularly important for minor roads.
For the evaluation of the Traffic Monitoring data the tool DIANA was developed by us, which allows an almost automatic data processing and analysis.
Due to our long-term operational experience within six German Federal States the operational and functional parameters are known, which have all been integrated into the automatic evaluation tool. That is why DTV-Verkehrsconsult provides the most complete and reliable data available.
The tool DIANA is continually continuously developed. Here we aim at an automatic evaluation, which identifies traffic anomalies and is able to eliminate them if necessary. Therefore, we are currently working on an internet based communication interface with a direct input option for additional information in our databases.
The Traffic Monitoring has revolutionised short time counts. This was recognised by the Innovation Award of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry sponsored together with the business magazine Impulse our company received for this new idea. As the developer of this system we hold the most comprehensive knowledge about the technical options as well as having the largest operational experience. Benefit from our knowledge!