Accuracy in traffic data detection is important for transportation operations and planning. Currently, inductive loop detectors are the most commonly used traffic counting devices in the field. New technologies are being developed to meet growing data counting and traffic surveillance needs. They include passive infrared, active infrared, passive magnetic, Doppler microwave, radar, passive acoustic, pulse and Doppler ultrasonic and video image processor. However, the relatively recent, but widespread, emergence of these technologies and the consequent sparseness in information on their performance characteristics preclude traffic agencies from making informed choices in the selection of traffic counting devices. This study performs a comprehensive survey of the currently available traffic counting products in terms of functional capabilities, technological focus, performance characteristics, and user perspectives. It identifies the major selection criteria and ranks them in the order of importance based on user feedback from agencies in six U.S. states. A two-step filtering selection procedure is proposed to provide guidelines for traffic agencies to decide the type and make of devices that satisfy their data collection needs and the associated field environment.

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traffic data, traffic counting device evaluation, intrusive and non-intrusive detectors, traffic counting device selection procedure, traffic counting device databases, SPR-2486

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Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

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