Solving Single-Gantry’s Multiple Challenges

Friday, 13 March 2015 10:23

When ARH exhibited its single-gantry solution, TrafficSpot®, at the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit, the company aimed to provide an answer to the basic challenges that continue to afflict the latest generation of traffic endpoints. So, what are these challenges and how the gantry developers arrived to the present predicament?

Initially, transportation system designers had a simple but practical idea: gather all the detection and monitoring devices, link them together with a managing hardware and software, hook up a communication endpoint, and put the entire assembly on a gantry. All done, right? Well, not quite…

As soon as the first gantries had been installed in the recent past, the practical reality proved that many of the mundane but everyday events on the road were too complicated for them to handle. Useful motion triggering was almost impossible to achieve without installing additional inductive loops into the pavement. Lane changes equated a loss of data that were supposed to relate to a particular vehicle. Semi-trucks with different license plates on the front and back lead to confusing results and misidentifications.

For many system developers, the best solution seemed to be to abandon altogether the idea of utilizing one gantry and instead to spread the devices on three separate trestles. This, of course, was not the ideal outcome when considering cost effectiveness, practicality, or visual aesthetics. And while the third-generation traffic gantries more recently have managed to solve most of their predecessors’ problems, they continue to bedevil system integrators with widely varying accuracy and different quality of data outflow.

When ARH developed TrafficSpot®, its team responded to the system integrators’ number one concern: device calibration and synchronization is an onerous and time consuming process with difficult-to-pin-down parameters.

“Integrators simply do not want to get bogged down with fine-tuning all the separate components,” ARH Sales Director, reflected on the issue. “They find it very confusing and hard to understand, for example, why using the same type of devices, same setup, and similar locations often result in completely different outcome of measurements and data.”

ARH has solved this conundrum by developing and synchronizing all gantry elements in-house and delivering them preset as variable and connectable modules assembled on individual customer demand. Whether the gantry is designated for toll collection, weigh-in-motion measurement, speed enforcement, traffic surveillance or combined with other data collection capabilities, the individual components already seamlessly work together to return the best results. A short video to demonstrate this know-how is available on the company’s YouTube channel.

Since the first TrafficSpot® gantries were field deployed two years ago, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and was reinforced by a consequent TÜV audit of 100% detection and 98.5% reading accuracy. These gantries also took a vital role during the development and bringing online a truly robust nationwide ITS system where not just customized expandability, speed, and accuracy but also SQL-based secure communication were essential demands.

TrafficSpot® was one of ARH’s in-house developed transportation management products demonstrated at the ITS World Congress in Detroit last September along with the company’s latest integrated middleware, dedicated cameras and sensors.