How Has COVID-19 Changed Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic?

What happens when people limit their social interactions and work from home? People should have little reason to go outside or use their car, except for going food-shopping or going for a short walk. So, the streets should be quite empty in these times, right? Nevertheless, the current situation can be very challenging for authorities to check and see whether people are actually staying at home. It is not safe to send out people to count traffic and pedestrians or setup new traffic counting devices.

The question is, how can we easily see the impact of Covid-19 on traffic then?

Gathering Traffic Data with Counting Lines

Swarm Analytics allows you to collect reliable traffic data 24/7. The Swarm Perception Box transforms conventional cameras into intelligent visual sensors by “translating” the video stream directly into insights. After you have configured counting lines, using the web-based management platform, you can collect data in real-time about all vehicles and pedestrians crossing this line. Since no image ever leaves the camera, we fully protect the privacy of individuals while providing the essential traffic information to the respective city, town, or authorities. The real-time data can provide the basis for understanding city-wide patterns, identify critical areas, and help you implement control measures more efficiently.

Swarm Control Center – enabling easy configuration of new counting lines
Example: counting line for traffic

Dashboard Examples From Real-World Real-Time Data

To illustrate which traffic data can be gathered with the Swarm Perception Box, here are some real-world examples during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Typically, people would use their car for traveling to work in the morning and back in the evening. In figure 1, it can be seen that traffic peaks disappeared and that overall traffic volume decreased.

Figure 1: Traffic counting data – 7 days
Figure 2: Bus traffic counting data

But what about Public Transport? By filtering the data to show the number of busses, on this road, it can be seen that busses still continue to operate to more or less the same levels (see figure 2).

In theory, with the Covid-19 restrictions, people should be spending more time at home than on the streets. However, when looking at the pedestrian data, there are significant peaks in the afternoons, suggesting that people are going for a stroll in the warmer afternoons (see figure 3). And when people counts are visually compared to defined limits, it becomes easy to identify when and how often the set limits were exceeded (see figure 4). These insights could be used to take the respective safety measures and actions.

Figure 3: People counting data
Figure 4: People counting compared to a defined limit

For more information, visit our solution page for Traffic Intelligence.

danielHow Has COVID-19 Changed Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic?
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