Traffic management has become increasingly important with growth in vehicle numbers unmatched by investment in infrastructure. A large part of management is measuring traffic flow. Video footage of traffic flow is normally manually checked to determine key traffic metrics, consuming many human hours. Moreover, installation and maintenance cost of recording equipment and supporting infrastructure is substantial, especially in the Sub-Saharan context. This paper proposes a novel solution to automate traffic flow estimation, using computer vision. The paper also introduces the notion of making the recording equipment mobile by using drone-based equipment, negating the need for fixed recording installations. The results demonstrate measurement accuracies of 100% down to 81% from ideal to worst case conditions, and successful implementation of drone control algorithms.
Paper presented at the 34th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6-9 July 2015 "Working Together to Deliver - Sakha Sonke", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.