Vizzion report shows how on-vehicle and roadside cameras work together
Vizzion released a report outlining how camera feeds are an ideal way of detecting and validating hazardous weather-related road conditions. According to the company, some of the most potentially dangerous factors for drivers are road weather phenomena such as wet and snowy roads, precipitation, fog, and flooding, yet it remains difficult to validate such dangerous conditions with conventional technology. Vehicle data collected from smart sensors on wipers, brakes, and fog lights can be inconsistent and difficult to confirm, and weather stations, while able to provide relatively accurate atmospheric information, may be miles away from the roadways in question and may not reflect local road conditions.
In many cases, the best way to identify hazardous weather conditions is through camera imagery. In the report, the company says it offers a simple, hyper-local "seeing is believing" solution through its roadside camera network and exclusive on-vehicle imagery, providing drivers, road incident editors, and automated systems with an unparalleled view of current weather conditions and allowing them access to the most up-to-date and accurate information about dangerous roadways. Through the seamless integration of its roadside cameras alongside its on-vehicle cameras, the company says it is uniquely equipped to provide multiple perspectives of the road showing the complete picture of how drivers are impacted by fog, rain, snow, flooding, and other hazardous driving conditions.
In the report, the company goes into detail as to how different types of cameras excel at validating different types of hazardous road weather. Roadside cameras, with an average view distance of around 520 m (568 yd) of roadway, are highly effective in visualizing low visibility weather conditions such as fog. Paired with the company’s automated visibility detection analytics, its roadside imagery has proven to be one of the most effective sources of road fog data available. A recent manual review found 97% of its fog detections were true positives.
The company also found that on-vehicle cameras are particularly useful in observing driving conditions during rainfall. With its "driver's-eye view," the cameras allow viewers to judge whether the road looks safe to navigate. With the closer vantage point of the road surface through the vehicle's windshield, the company contends that on-vehicle cameras prove useful in detecting both actual rainfall and the hazardous conditions created through accumulation of water on the road surface.
The report also mentions how snowy conditions are an example of when roadside and on-vehicle cameras work in tandem to provide complementary information. Accumulated snow on the road makes the surface slippery and can be hazardous if not cleared, and falling snow can decrease visibility for drivers. The company has found that on-vehicle cameras are ideal for seeing if falling snow has covered the road and how it may impact traction, while roadside cameras can provide a look into the distance and show if visibility has been affected by the winter weather.
Many of Vizzion's findings are related to day-to-day weather events, but they also show that cameras are useful in tracking more severe natural phenomena, such as floods and tropical storms. Roadside cameras provide visual evidence of flooding that can't be found from other sources such as vehicle GPS data. The company notes that cameras are often the first tool through which the effects of such extreme weather are noticed.
The report concludes that in addition to providing an easily verifiable and simple-to-digest means of measuring vehicle traffic, cameras are equally effective in giving viewers a look at the weather conditions on a given stretch of road. With the flexibility to be integrated into driver-facing apps and infotainment platforms, processed via automated analysis, and used for ground truth studies against alternative road weather sources, the company says its imagery and visibility data is one of the most user-friendly, versatile, and accurate datasets for road surface conditions available.
For more information, visit www.vizzion.com.