An intelligent transportation system (ITS) is an advanced application which aims to provide smart and connected traffic control services. Because of these advanced control systems, users are better informed and can make more coordinated, safer use of transport networks.
The global market for ITS is projected to reach US$50.4 billion by 2025 driven by the growing importance of smart technologies, according to Reportlinker.com. As the ITS industry continues to grow, and becomes more prominent, lidar is factoring into next generation system designs.
PARIFEX specializes in traffic monitoring solutions. The company has deployed more than 400 unmanned speed control systems with an additional 200 expected this year. These new traffic monitoring solutions, which use Velodyne’s lidar sensors, can enable highly accurate, reliable speed enforcement measurement. Using lidar has been shown to boost system performance even in difficult roadway conditions such as tailgating, change of directions and heavy traffic.
As an Automated with Velodyne partner and a leading innovator in the ITS field, I sat down with Nathalie Deguen, Sales Manager from the French engineering firm, PARIFEX, to get her thoughts on the ITS industry and the growing adoption of lidar in these applications.
Nathalie: PARIFEX is one of the leading providers of speed enforcement systems for the Ministry of Interior in France. In addition to this activity, the company offers solutions for smart city and smart mobility matters, with an innovative sensor based on Velodyne 3D lidars to collect real-time traffic information.
Our product portfolio includes the NANO traffic monitoring solution, which integrates the Velodyne Puck™ sensor and detects static and moving objects such as pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. It can track and gather information on each target in real time, including dimensions, direction, speed and distance.
The NANO-Cam combines lidar and camera sensors with artificial intelligence and image processing techniques, enabling multi-violation control. With the NANO-cam, cities can efficiently monitor multiple violations including red light, speed, stop sign, phone usage and more. Moreover, by employing lidar, a quicker response time for automatic vehicle plate number recognition can be achieved than with traditional methods.
Nathalie: There are a multitude of use cases for which the sensor equipped with lidar can be useful. Lidar allows the systems to detect and gather real-time information on moving objects in its field of view. For instance, the robust set of data gathered by NANO-Cam makes it not only optimal for speed enforcement for road safety, but also for other applications in traffic management. These include traffic counting, smart intersections, autonomous vehicle (AV) projects, access control, smart parking, accident detection and other applications.
As a use case example, autonomous vehicles require smart infrastructure integrated with the AV. When an AV enters a roundabout, the systems can help prevent blind spots caused by trees or works of art. Also, pedestrians crossing the road can be quickly identified so the AV can adjust its speed accordingly.
Smart parking requires these kinds of solutions as well. PARIFEX’s technology was requested for a client in need of a solution for a pilot project to monitor a fleet of vehicles. The fleet consisted of hundreds of cars, all a similar brand and color, linked to a key box system. Finding the correct vehicle when needed was a challenge. Using the NANO solution, every vehicle could be efficiently tracked and located.
Nathalie: PARIFEX has equipped its complete radar fleet all over France with lidars to improve the performance of systems. We are starting to see many opportunities for numerous applications linked to smart city matters. For example, many municipalities are in need of more precise and higher performing systems for traffic counting.