Doing turning movement counts automatically with computers is the holy grail of the traffic counting industry. Right now we deploy people to sit at the intersection and count cars manually using computerized tally machines. Miovision appears to have found the holy grail using machine vision. And this isn’t the machine vision your grandaddy used (i.e. Autoscope and Vantage). Older systems detect cars as they go over specific points on the computer screen. Miovision locks onto anything that moves on the screen and tracks its path. I believe this is going to allow us to collect 12 hours of turning movement data cheaper than what some firms charge for 2 hours. Aside from slashing costs, two major bonuses: (1) it can do turning movements at roundabouts (which is nearly impossible to do in the field) and (2) we’ll be able to collect long term turning movement counts (it appears we can do 48 hours now and soon we’ll probably be able to do a week).
Corry from Miovision came out to my office today and helped me get up to speed with the video system. I am testing out two units to make sure they count as accurately as the company claims. So far, they have followed through on all of their promises. The unit only takes about 15 minutes. We have started an extensive training regimen to reduce that time (Corry promises a lumberjack style competition to crown the setup champion). I’ll be reporting back in a few weeks on my testing results. I’ll also post some pictures of the system out in the field. I forgot my camera today. Stay tuned….