FlowCube: betrouwbare informatie over fietsverkeer en voetgangers

Steden en stedelijke regio’s worstelen met toenemend verkeer. Sommige aspecten van stedelijk verkeersmanagement zijn moeilijk in te schatten. Fietsers en voetgangers zijn onderdeel van stedelijk verkeersmanagement, maar hun gedrag is moeilijk te voorspellen. Fietsers kunnen uit vele routes kiezen en voetgangers komen en gaan in alle richtingen. In combinatie met het openbaar vervoer is stadsverkeer helemaal lastig om inzichtelijk te krijgen. Hoe kun je fiets- en voetgangersstromen meten, monitoren en reguleren?

Lees hieronder de tekst van Flowcube in het Engels Read the article about FlowCube (text in English)

Cities and urbanized regions all over the world are struggling to keep control over the ever-increasing urban traffic. While there are many advanced traffic management solutions, there are also aspects of urban traffic that remain hard to manage. Whereas cyclists and pedestrians are part of city traffic management, it is hard to predict their traffic behavior. Cyclists can choose many routes, pedestrians traverse the city in all directions, people are getting on and off public transport everywhere. Where the use of bicycles seems to be an obvious choice in order to alleviate the pressure of car traffic, you will need to know how this change will work out. How can you measure, monitor and regulate flows of bicycles and pedestrians through the city? Is there a system available that can provide reliable information on pedestrians and bicycle traffic?

Real-time information

Effective urban traffic management depends on accurate real-time information that enables effective and fast adaptation to changing traffic situations. This information needs to address all the different traffic modalities (cars, bicycles and pedestrians), scales (single intersection versus city-wide patterns) and use cases (automatic control, operator situation awareness, incident detection and traffic data gathering). There are many technological solutions for monitoring traffic movement: induction loops, GPS floating car data, Bluetooth re-identification, automatic number plate recognition, traffic radar and more. However, every one of these solutions has its limitations when it comes to generating traffic information on specific scales. For instance, GPS data cannot provide local intersection data. Traffic radar cannot provide city-wide traffic patterns. What is more, none of these systems can provide reliable information on bicycle traffic or pedestrians.

Reliable information on bicycle traffic and pedestrians.

Thanks to its built-in intelligence, FlowCube covers all of these aspects and more. It discerns, measures and monitors and measure all types of traffic. It produces all the traffic information that you need: it not only counts pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle traffic locally, it also matches traffic between devices. In this way, it determines the routes that traffic participants choose to navigate the urban network (origin/destination information) as well as their travel times. All data is specified per direction and modality.

The FlowCube system is operational in the crowded center of the city of Groningen, where it provides a live data dashboard of the cyclist and pedestrian traffic data. FlowCube manages this without identifying specific persons or using face recognition. Only aggregated results are stored (no storage of individual data is required), which means that FlowCube adheres to the strict European privacy regulations. It is developed with the principle of ‘Privacy by design’.

FlowCube is a good example of how we apply our Artificial Intelligence competence responsibly at Technolution to enable you to help your citizens.

Privacy by design

The following design specifics ensure that the privacy of citizens is always safeguarded.

  1. The system does not identify specific persons, nor does it use face recognition. It translates certain object characteristics, such as color and shape, into an arithmetic representation. This representation is sufficient to match traffic patterns, but it is not so specific that it can be used to identify specific individuals.
  2. No video or photo material is recorded.
  3. The ‘Matching codes’ based on object characteristics are only retained for 20 minutes in volatile memory.
  4. Only aggregated traffic data is stored permanently.
  5. Communication between the field device and the cloud platform uses secure connections and the cloud platform is properly secured following current industry standards.

FlowCube is a smart, compact box containing a camera sensor and a processing unit that utilizes artificial intelligence to identify and, more importantly, match traffic participants between devices. FlowCube literally covers all traffic modalities, including bicycles and pedestrians. It is the first traffic sensing system that can actually measure travel times and routing choices of bicycles. With FlowCube, traffic management systems can monitor, track and count all types of traffic on the road, generating reliable information about the traffic flow along the urban routes.