Real-Time Traffic End-of-Queue Detection and Tracking in UAV Video

Highway work zones are susceptible to undue accumulation of motorized vehicles which calls for dynamic work zone warning signs to prevent accidents. The work zone signs are placed according to the location of the end-of-queue of vehicles which usually changes rapidly. The detection of moving objects in video captured by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has been extensively researched so far, and is used in a wide array of applications including traffic monitoring. Unlike the fixed traffic cameras, UAVs can be used to monitor the traffic at work zones in real-time and also in a more cost-effective way. This study presents a method as a proof of concept for detecting End-of-Queue (EOQ) of traffic by processing the real-time video footage of a highway work zone captured by UAV. EOQ is detected in the video by image processing which includes background subtraction and blob detection methods. This dynamic localization of EOQ of vehicles will enable faster and more accurate relocation of work zone warning signs for drivers and thus will reduce work zone fatalities. The method can be applied to detect EOQ of vehicles and notify drivers in any other roads or intersections too where vehicles are rapidly accumulating due to special events, traffic jams, construction, or accidents.

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