The goal of this project was to detect the intensity of traffic on a road at different times of the day during daytime. Although the work presented utilized images from a section of a highway, the results of this project are intended for making decisions on the type of intervention necessary on any given road at different times for traffic control, such as installation of traffic signals, duration of red, green and yellow lights at intersections, and assignment of traffic control officers near school zones or other relevant locations. In this project, directional patterns are used to detect and count the number of cars in traffic images over a fixed area of the road to determine local traffic intensity. Directional patterns are chosen because they are simple and common to almost all moving vehicles. Perspective vision effects specific to each camera orientation has to be considered, as they affect the size and direction of patterns to be recognized. In this work, a simple and fast algorithm has been developed based on horizontal directional pattern matching and perspective vision adjustment. The results of the algorithm under various conditions are presented and compared in this paper. Using the developed algorithm, the traffic intensity can accurately be determined on clear days with average sized cars. The
accuracy is reduced on rainy days when the camera lens contains raindrops, when there are very long vehicles, such as trucks or tankers, in the view, and when there is very low light around dusk or dawn.