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Nilani Algiriyage, Raj Prasanna, Kristin Stock, Emma Hudson-Doyle, David Johnston, Minura Punchihewa, et al. (2021). Towards Real-time Traffic Flow Estimation using YOLO and SORT from Surveillance Video Footage. In Anouck Adrot, Rob Grace, Kathleen Moore, & Christopher W. Zobel (Eds.), ISCRAM 2021 Conference Proceedings – 18th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 40–48). Blacksburg, VA (USA): Virginia Tech.
Abstract: Traffic emergencies and resulting delays cause a significant impact on the economy and society. Traffic flow estimation is one of the early steps in urban planning and managing traffic infrastructure. Traditionally, traffic flow rates were commonly measured using underground inductive loops, pneumatic road tubes, and temporary manual counts. However, these approaches can not be used in large areas due to high costs, road surface degradation and implementation difficulties. Recent advancement of computer vision techniques in combination with freely available closed-circuit television (CCTV) datasets has provided opportunities for vehicle detection and classification. This study addresses the problem of estimating traffic flow using low-quality video data from a surveillance camera. Therefore, we have trained the novel YOLOv4 algorithm for five object classes (car, truck, van, bike, and bus). Also, we introduce an algorithm to count the vehicles using the SORT tracker based on movement direction such as ``northbound'' and ``southbound'' to obtain the traffic flow rates. The experimental results, for a CCTV footage in Christchurch, New Zealand shows the effectiveness of the proposed approach. In future research, we expect to train on large and more diverse datasets that cover various weather and lighting conditions.