Vehicle Counting in Heterogeneous Traffic Condition
Swapnil R. Gupta, Harish K. Pillai, Tom V. Mattew
Abstract—Traffic counting for Indian heterogeneous traffic has become the need of the hour. In India due to lack of lane discipline it become tedious to use sensor system to achieve good accuracy. In this paper we discuss one such system using Inductive Loop system for traffic counting on Indian road. We have installed 8 similar loops of 1.1m x 1.1m on Jogeshwari Vikhroli link road (JVLR) in Mumbai. We have verified our traffic count using Video Camera installed on divider of road. Adjacent to our loop installation there is a setup of data acquisition cabin (2m x 1m x 2m) for collecting and analyzing of data. An Algorithm is implemented to count vehicles based on their triggering time on adjacent loops. This traffic counting system using inductive loops gives accuracy of > 95% in peak and off-peak hours along with classification accuracy of >50%. Index Terms—Indian Heterogeneous Traffic, Loop Detector, Vehicle classification, Vehicle counting.

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here has been statistical increase in traffic worldwide. In order to count vehicles on road, traffic counting System is being used most widely worldwide. Most of the system used gives parameters like vehicle occupancy in terms number of vehicles per thousand meters, vehicles classification based on standars such as Euro-6 or DOE NI 5 etc. [1] and average speed of vehicles. Most country has homogenous traffic in a lane where accuracy can be achieved with ease. In India traffic being heterogeneous and lack of lane discipline it becomes difficult to count traffic. In this paper we will be discussing one such system which potentially gives good accuracy. The system developed during this work has been found robust to different environmental conditions, where most system fall prey like video camera, infrared sensors, acoustic sensors, etc. Inductive loop system is less expensive and slightly tedious for installation as compared to other system. It has become necessary to use traffic counting system as it helps in giving information of a particular route like vehicle density, traffic count and traffic type, it can be used for routing plans, give services to emergency vehicle based on traffic information. The information can be used for controlling traffic signals to adapt the timing based on incoming traffic information.

Detailed in [2] in these authors has tried to measure the velocity and length of vehicles. The paper reported measurements of speed was done over wide range using inductive loop the error rate was around 2.5 km/hr.

In [1] an algorithm was developed to classify vehicles, where signatures of vehicles were transformed into vector which simplified storage and transmission of data. These transformed vectors were easy to analyze. These vectors can be inputs to various intelligent transportation system (ITS) strategies to improve efficiency, safety and traffic networks [1]. He classified vehicles into 7 classes and efficiency was 80%. J. Gajda [3] in year 2001 reported the influence of short loop (10cm) on counting of number of axles and measure the distance between them. He concluded that two small loops could be replaced by two piezoelectric sensors and a big loop, can give better classification. In [4] proposed estimates for individual vehicle speed into two stages; first being vehicle grouping, second being estimating speed by vehicle group. Using Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN) vehicle grouping has been achieved based on signature features. Signature length for speed estimation has also been taken into account. He has reported 7 types of classes with accuracy ranging for each class from 70% - 100% respectively. His total volume count accuracy reported is 99.3%. In 2004 SUN et.all [5] reported using video camera along with signature from inductive loop accuracy of 90%. Cheol Oh and Ritchie for vehicles classification used innovative loop sensor, known as ‘Blade’. A neural network implementation of multivariate Bayesian estimate is used for vehicle classification. Signatures are reduced to feature vector which are processed to classify vehicles in 4 classes. The sensor used were laid on surface of the road, this system gave an accuracy of approx. 70% due to lack of data set and insufficient training [6].

Growth rate of Population in India is around 10% in last decade according to census report 2011 [7]. The growth rate is higher in some urban areas to around 15%. The metropolitan like Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru are competing among each other. In past Mumbai has recorded the highest growth rate in 1981-1991, in comparison to other cities. Due to increase in population and lack of public transport has resulted in traffic congestion, shortage of electricity, deteriorating environment and

• Swapnil R. Gupta is with the Elecrical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400 076. • Harish K. Pillai is with the Elecrical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400 076. • Tom V. Mattew is with the Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai 400 076.


public health. The developing cities have generated demands for motor vehicles in the city. To compensate the increase in demand for vehicles efforts are being made to improve the mass transportation system. It has been recorded that more than 90% vehicles registered are in urban centers. In 1998 number of vehicles registered in Delhi and Mumbai were 3033 and 860 (in thousands). In 2002 Delhi has recorded a registration of 3.5 million vehicles. Hence forth we will be discussing the traffic type scenario of Mumbai in 1979 and 2002 [8]. Mumbai has been divided into Mumbai Island and Mumbai Suburbs the data below has been referred [8] . TABLE 1: TRAFFIC TYPE IN MUMBAI ISLAND TYPE OF VEHICLE TWO-WHEELER CAR BUS TAXI TRUCK 1979(IN %) 5.4 32.6 4.0 47.3 7.2 2002(IN %) 19.3 42.7 3.7 21.0 9.5

crete road using a cutter machine for laying loops. Figure 1(b) shows, tar being poured in cut slot, measures adopted for laying wire in slot and final finishing of the tar work.

Figure 1(a)

TABLE 2: TRAFFIC TYPE IN MUMBAI SUBURBS TYPE OF VEHICLE TWO-WHEELER CAR BUS TAXI TRUCK 1979 (IN %) 8 27.5 8.1 24.8 25.2 2002 (IN %) 24 29.2 4.5 27.3 12.0 Figure 1 (b) Figure 1 Loop Laying Method.

The inductive loop detector system detects object having conductive metal. A vehicle being ferromagnetic material which is conductive metal, loop detector senses metal by inducing current. The induced current in object cause’s reduction in inductance of loop, the change in inductance value is sensed by loop detector. This in turn sends a call to the controller for appropriate action. The loop detector system consist of three parts; sensors or wires loop, detector part- sensing of vehicle presence and microcontroller for keeping total count of vehicle along with providing user interface for the system [9] the block diagram of the system is as shown in Figure 2. [1] Response time of LD 400 is approx. 120msec after a vehicle enters the loop. LD 400 provides option for selecting different sensitivity levels along with different modes like Pulse and Presence mode. In our work we have used Presence mode which gives us total time of vehicle presence over the sensor [6].

In Island the percentage of car and Two-wheeler has increased as in Table 1 but percentage of taxi has declined. Cycles remains almost constant. The percentage of Trucks has increased but Buses have decreased. In Suburbs the percentage of Two-wheeler has seen a major jump and cars have also increased. Buses and Trucks have declined over time. In both Island and suburbs there is one more type of vehicle as three-wheeler which is like taxi. There are variants of 3-wheelers which are being used for goods transportation. In Figure 1(b) the image of a 3-wheeler can be seen.

Initial a Loop layout is drawn in Design tool (like AutoCAD), based on the design the total length for each loop is calculated. Wires used for embedding in road were 16 gauge multi stranded Teflon coated copper wires; total length of wire used 430m approximately. The road is 10 inches thick made up of concrete, separate cutter machine was used to make cuts in road, channel dimensions of 5 mm x 37 mm were made to lay wires. The wires were first laid in channel; a semisolid warm tar is poured on wires in channel. The Tar is at temperature high enough to get into channel without melting insulation of wires. Twisting of wires were done to prevent inter-channel cross-talk or interference with five to six twist per 30 cm manually by hand, twisting were done from loop till the loop detector, [2]. In Figure 1(a) it shows cutting of con-

Figure 2 Block Diagram of Vehicle Counting System Microcontroller board consist of Atemga328P microcontroller it has a clock frequency of 16 MHz with


32Kbytes of programmable memory; it also supports Inter-Integrated circuits (I2C) protocol and has 23 Programmable I/O lines. The board has Real time clock (DS 1307), which keeps track of Date (dd/mm/yy) and time (hh/mm/ss). It also provides Isolation between Microcontroller and LD 400 [10],[11] with ULN 2803(NPN Darlington pair) from high surge current and AC voltage. Microcontroller has been interfaced with a computer using serial communication and seven segment display or LCD can be interfaced for displaying output.

going over 2 loops physically, triggers 3 loops, the loop detector gives output on 3 channels. It has been shown in Figure 4(a), vehicle passing over loops, the dotted line represents that though vehicle does not pass physically over loop 2, and it is still being detected by loop 2. Figure 4 (b) shows the loop detector output which we represent it as a timing diagram. Analyzing loop detector output as timing diagram eases different cases under consideration. Further in this paper we will deal or represent different cases with help of timing diagram.

We have analyzed theoretically many of the sensor system for counting traffic in India. Most of them have drawback e.g. counting using video camera need more robust Algorithm and Hardware, problem like occlusion, vehicle shadowing, a separate module of Algorithm is required for different environmental conditions during rain and snow. Counting Vehicles using radars face distortion problem in rainy season, Preference for sensor technology to be used for detecting traffic can be made on different criteria such as (i) ease of installation, (ii) ease of Maintenance, (iii) sensor technology, (iii) Application [2] A combination of these points can be asserted to draw conclusion for selection of sensor technology. Magnetometer is more preferred if above points are considered. Inductive loop on the other hand are less preferred because of less ease of installation due to road cutting, wire getting damage due to various reason (like foreign solvent in slot of wire, insulation wear and tear, etc). Inductive Loop sensor technology is one of the less expensive technologies for counting of vehicles. Its output is robust in different types of environmental condition. While cutting road for laying wires, corners were cut diagonal instead of 90 degrees, diagonal cuts eases stress on wires.

Figure 4. Case 1 Timing Diagram In Figure 4(a) L1, L2, L3, L4 represent Loop numbers, Figure 4(b) represent timing diagram, showing triggering time for each loop the variables A[.] and B[.] represent the on-time and off-time for each loop. The amplitude for each pulse can be varied and we have taken them to be as 5V (logic-HIGH). There are two states that the loop detector output can take, digitally HIGH (5V) or LOW (0V). In Case 1 situation, loop detector has received three triggering and the count given is as one if; A[3] – A[4] <minstrad A[3] – A[2] <minstrad Here A[3] is consider to be dominating because it is the first variable to be initialized. In other cases, instead of A[3] it could be A[4] or A[1], first to be initialized. Value of minstrad has been found statistically its value is in millisecond, it is time taken by vehicle to straddle over adjacent loops. If, A[3] – A[2] >minstrad The vehicle count will be incremented by one. Case2: In this case, two vehicles are going over 4 loops; we call two vehicles as car1 and car2. The loop detector gives output HIGH on 4 channels. See Figure 5. Car1 triggers 3 loops (L4, L3, L2) with delay of few milliseconds, car2 triggers 2 loops (L2, L1). The system identifies the first three triggers as car1 on the basis that A[3] - A[4] <minstrad A[3] - A[2] <minstrad



We have installed 8 loops on JVLR in Mumbai. Illustration of system working can be done with sensing 4 loops. Figure 3 gives the dimension of loop installed. Loop width being 1.1m and spacing between adjacent loops is 0.5m at any given time no vehicle will occupy more than 3 loops. Below are illustrations of some cases which we have encountered statistically. These cases have been implementated in Algorithm for counting vehicles.

Figure 3 Loop Layout diagram. Case 1: In some cases the vehicle occupies 2 loops, but it triggers 3 loops. A vehicle being a ferromagnetic material and due to loop sensitivity, loops get triggered if the vehicle passes by its close vicinity. Consequently a vehicle

Figure 5. Case 2 Timing Diagram And Car2 is detected and count is incremented by one, if A[3] – A1[2] >minstrad A1[2] – A[1] <minstrad


Case 3: There are situation when one vehicle (i.e. car 1) occupies two loops (L3 and L4) as shown in Figure 4, a second vehicle (i.e. car 2) occupies two loops (L2 and L1) as shown in Figure 6. For Figure 4 scenario the loop detector gives two outputs, the loop detector detects car 1 if A[3] – A[4] <minstrad The second vehicle (i.e.car2) is detected if A[3] – A[2] >minstrad A[2] – A[1] <minstrad

Figure 6. Case 3 Timing Diagram Case 4: In India lack of lane discipline has led to different cases, a vehicle passing over loops (L3 and L4) and a second vehicle passes over loops (L1 and L2). The loop detector will differentiate these cases on following basis; Car 1 is first detected as A[3] – A[4] <minstrad and car2 is detected as second, as no same vehicle can occupy adjacent 4 loops at the same time. So, the second vehicle passes / triggers loop 1 first and then it triggers loop 2, the system then increments the count by one. Second vehicle is detected even though;

analyzed result for peak hours (1700-1830 hrs). It was seen that during off peak hours the result were better at 0.02 and 0.03 sensitivity level by approx 3-4 %. The loop detector LD 400 has 7 different sensitivity levels. The level with high sensitive being 0.02% and the least sensitive level being 2.0%. It was seen that at sensitivity level of 2.0% bike and trucks were not getting detected. The reason for bike not being detected is bike having less ferromagnetic material and truck not being detected because it is having high ground clearance. The table below is showing accuracy for different sensitivity level with a minstrad factor of 380. Improving the Algorithm for vehicle counting was done statistically by minimizing the minstrad further to a factor of 200. It was analyzed during peak hours the count accuracy for sensitivity level of 0.02% and 0.03% had increased by 6-7%, to an accuracy of 97-98%. We could classify vehicle with one dimension data into 3 categories. Assuming the traffic speed is approx. 30-60 Km/hr. The Table 4 below gives a classification of vehicle on Indian roads. TABLE 3: RESULT FOR COUNT ANALYSIS ON INDIAN ROADS SENSITIVITY 0.02% 0.03% 0.05% 0.1% 0.2% 1.0% 2.0% ACCURACY (%) DURING PEAK HOURS 91.16 91.24 85.89 78.23 78.5 61.97 45.85

TABLE 4: CLASSIFICATION OF VEHICLE ON INDIAN ROADS VEHICLE TYPE Figure 7. Case 4 Timing Diagram A[3] – A[1] <minstrad and A[2] –A[1] <minstrad. Case 4 is illustrated in Figure 7. TWO WHEELERS THREE WHEELERS / FOUR WHEELERS TRUCKS / BUSES TIME SPENT (MSEC.) < 200 200 -500 >500

Integration of GPRS module with loop detector was done to monitor traffic remotely. Remote access can help in number of ways: It can be used to divert the traffic by controlling traffic signals depending on traffic density on a particular lane; it can help in analyzing path with less traffic, etc.

The accuracy of vehicle classification is 50-70 %.

In this paper we have been successful in counting vehicle in heterogeneous traffic environment. The accuracy of our system for counting is 95-98% on Indian roads irrespective of lane. We have tried to classify the vehicles in three categories with accuracy of 50-70%. The only drawback of this system is cutting the road and laying of wires. The Algorithm developed in this paper can be used in any type of road traffic like narrow lanes and multilane highways having heterogeneous traffic with less lane discipline. The Accuracy of traffic classification can be increased further by analyses of time spent by different ve-

Counting Analysis was done using data taken from loop detector along with video for counter checking of vehicle count. It was seen that in a heterogeneous traffic condition with low traffic discipline the result for traffic counting have converged with video count with a good accuracy. The results are as shown below in Table 3. Results were taken separately at different part of the day at different traffic density. The Result table shown below is


hicles over adjacent loop at different time of the day. The accuracy of classification can be further increased by measuring the amplitude of the incoming signal. Each class of vehicle has different shape and size with different ferromagnetic content. A two wheeler will cause less variation in inductance as compared to a Car or truck. Hence the magnitude of signal received from Car or truck will be higher, this parameter (Magnitude) of signature can be used for classification. This system could be useful in controlling traffic in adaptive manner by giving the system output to traffic controller. The data generated by the system can be processed and can be used to divert emergency vehicles or traffic to a less dense route. The sensor technology is robust to environmental conditions and is cheaper in terms of cost to other sensor technologies.

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Distribution of population, sex ratio, density and decadal growth rate of population: 2011, Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Santosh A.Jalihal, Kayitha Ravinder, T.S.Reddy (2005), “Traffic Characteristics of India”, Proceedings of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies, Vol. 5, pp. 1009 –1024. Lawrence A. Klein, Milton K. Mills and David R.P. Gibson (October 2006) Publication No.FHWA-HRT-06-108, Traffic Detector Handbook: Third Edition, Federal Highway Administration.

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[10] Technical Manual LD400, Procon Electronics. [11] Technical Manual Loop Profiler, Counter and Accessories Ltd. England.

Our sincere gratitude to Department of Information Technology for sponsoring the project (09DIT004). A special thanks to all the people related to the project, as they have helped in making the project a partial success. A special thanks to Prof. Gopal Patil for his invaluable help and my colleagues Ashish Cherian, Ashutosh Bajpai and Mohamed Athiq. Lastly I would thank my parent’s and my sister Dr. Nivika Gupta for their constant support throughout the project.

Swapnil R. Gupta did his B.E from Pune University in 2008, M.Tech in Microwave from College of Engineering Pune, in 2010. He is now currently working as Research Assistant in IIT Bombay. His area of research is embedded system, Electronic system design, Artificial Intelligence and RF systems. Harish K. Pillai did his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 1990, M.Tech. in Systems and Control from IIT Bombay in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1997. After spending about 4 years in various universities in Europe, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay in 2001, where he is currently a Professor. His current areas of interest include Control Theory, Coding Theory, Numerical methods, Combinatorial Optimization and Electromagnetic. Tom V Mathew is a professor at IIT Bombay. He did his Masters & Doctorate from IIT Madras. He is currently faculty at IIT Bombay. His research includes Traffic flow modeling, simulation and Transportation network optimization, control and management. Also, his research includes Economic and financial analysis of transportation infrastructure projects , Flexible and rigid pavements analysis & design and Computing techniques like Cellular automata, Genetic Algorithm, Distributed computing for GA code, Artificial Neural Network, Expert systems and Simulation.

[1] C. Sun(Mar. 2000), “An investigation in the use of inductive loop signatures for vehicle classification,” Inst. Transp. Stud., Univ. California, Berkeley, CA, California PATH Res. Rep., UCB-ITS-PRR-2000.


J. Gajda, R. Sroka, M. Stencel, and T. Zeqlen (Sep. 1997), “Measurement of road traffic parameters using an inductive singleloop detector,” in Proc. 9th IMEKO Symp., Glasgow, U.K. J.Gajda, R. Sroka, M. Stencel, A. Wajda, and T. Zeqlen (May 2001), “A vehicle classification based on inductive loop detectors,” in Proc. 18th IEEE IMTC, vol. 1, pp.460– 464. Seri Oh, Stephen G. Ritchie, and Cheol Oh (Dec. 2001),”Real time traffic measurement from single loop inductive signature”, the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Januray 2002, Washington, D.C. Carlos C. Sun, G. S. Arr, S. G. Ritchie (Sep. 2004), “Vehicle Reidentification Using Multidetector Fusion”, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2004. Cheol Oh, S. G. Ritchie (2007),“Recognizing vehicle classification information from blade sensor signature”, Pattern Recognition Letters 28 (2007) 1041–1049.

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