Traffic flow analysis are valuable bases for traffic planning and form the basis for a wide range of traffic telematics systems and traffic management systems. Current systems are based either on real-time GPS information and provide travel times of the road network based on small samples or on fixed cross-sectional counting systems which extrapolates the travel times based on daily curves for a road section. Newer applications are based on the cell localization of mobile phones or the detection of Bluetooth devices. Currently, there is no high-quality application to detect traffic in rural areas. For this reason, a similar system was developed by EBE Solutions and AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology, which enables on the basis of encrypted license-plate numbers to analyse traffic flows and traffic counts in real time. The used license-plate recognition software offers the possibility of a classification of vehicles by country and political district. To protect the data, all license-plate numbers are encrypted immediately after detection in a disposable process. The system was designed for the use in high and low level road network and consists entirely of standard components. Traffic data are transferred to a central server around the clock via wireless data communication (such as GPRS, UMTS, WLAN). These are checked for plausibility and evaluated automatically. Subsequent continuous traffic flow analysis for regions, cities, airports, shopping malls, etc. can be realized.
An essential aspect of the whole application is the possibility of real time analysis. Prompt analysis of traffic flows provide the current traffic situation and allows immediate control measures. Furthermore there is the possibility of awareness-raising measures, such as a kind of “Section Control” at local roads where road users can view the average speed compared to the speed limit. A coupling of the system with contactless sensors also enables the detection of vehicle classes and the cross-cutting speeds of each vehicles. In addition to real-time applications, all traffic-related reports (e.g. Daily, weekly, monthly or annual curves) can be created based on the data collected.