Learn whether inductive loops are the right traffic data collection tool for your needs and how lidar can serve as an effective alternative option
Inductive loops are the most common traffic sensors. Used in many cities around the world, they were developed to detect the presence of passing vehicles on the road and at intersection.
While inductive loops help urban planners know when and how many cars are at an intersection, they have several significant disadvantages:
To address these shortcomings, new solutions for collecting traffic data have emerged, such as radar, video cameras and lidar sensors.
BlueCity, which combines 3D lidar sensors with AI software, is an ideal, cost-effective solution for urban planners and engineering firms who want to better understand and improve smart city mobility. Cities can get the best planning results by capturing multimodal, traffic data in real time thanks to lidar sensors and AI-based analytics. This powerful and cost effective solution allows you to collect traffic data, including identifying different types of road users, 24/7 regardless of lighting or weather.
|Detection||Inductive loop||BlueCity (lidar + AI)|
|Detects presence of vehicles|
|Measures all modes of transport|
|Detects post encroachment time|
|Works in any weather|
|Works in any lighting|
|User-defined virtual loops|
|Counts number of near misses|
|Detects red-light runners|
|Detects illegal turning|
|No collection of private citizen data|
|Provides signal performance measures|
|Reporting and Analytics||Inductive loop||BlueCity (lidar + AI)|
|See real-time live feed|
|Uses AI for real-time decision-making|
|Crosswalk occupancy data|
|Estimates pedestrian crossing time|
|Provides time to collision analysis|
|No additional bandwidth required|
|Installation and Maintenance||Inductive loop||BlueCity (lidar + AI)|
|Easy to install|
|One sensor per intersection required|
Inductive loops were developed to detect the metal in cars or trucks or other vehicles. They cannot detect road users, such as pedestrians. Motorcyclists and cyclists can be difficult to detect because pavement deterioration, improper installation and street repair can impair a loop’s integrity and degrade a loop’s performance.
In order to install inductive loops, roads must be dug up, causing road closures. The installation is intrusive, takes time and is expensive.
Inductive loops provide accurate results in ideal conditions. This means that the pavement at the intersection has not deteriorated badly, installation was done properly and that the useful life of the inductive loops has not passed.
Other factors that negatively affect accuracy include traffic density, vehicle movement and traffic composition.
Inductive loops can sense when a car has passed over the detection area. They cannot detect the speed or trajectory of the vehicles, limiting the amount of useful data they can provide to traffic and city planners.
Inductive loops can only provide information about the number of vehicles that have passed over the detection area. This type of information cannot indicate whether an intersection is dangerous, only whether it is busy.
Inductive loops have been a popular choice for about 60 years and have been adopted in many countries. They accurately provide information about the number of vehicles that have passed over the loops’ detection area.
Inductive loops cannot provide information about the type of road user, speed, trajectories and other detailed traffic information that is vital for improving road safety. They are also expensive to install and maintain.
BlueCity is a unique, cost-effective solution that allows planners to capture multimodal traffic data in real time, 24/7. BlueCity’s lidar sensors are easy to install and maintain and most intersections require only one sensor. BlueCity leverages artificial intelligence to power advanced safety analytics that help identify dangerous intersections and improve road safety.