The WaveTraf sensor, locally designed and developed by Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre (QMIC), is expected to give a fillip to traffic studies in the country, which is facing a substantial increase in the number of vehicles and traffic violations. QMIC, an applied research and development canter founded by Qatar University (QU) in collaboration with and at Qatar Science & Technology Park, has installed a total of 40 WaveTraf sensors across Doha roads during the summer of 2012.
Mounted on to some of the street lamps, the solar-powered sensors detect and monitor traffic speed on the local roads by spotting Bluetooth devices in passing vehicles and sending associated information to a central server. Based on the real-time traffic data so collected and in conjunction with the advanced algorithm developed by QMIC, Labeeb (QMIC's intelligent sensing and services platform) computes the real-time traffic speed and displays it on a user-friendly map through many of QMIC's applications.
A WaveTraf sensor was displayed and a live demonstration of the technology was made by QMIC earlier this month at the formal launch event of Masarak, a 100% made in Qatar comprehensive open intelligent platform and an integrated suite of applications and services that could usher in radical changes in the transport sector. "The data transmitted by WaveTraf sensors shows in real-time the average traffic speed on the roads concerned," an official told Gulf Times. WaveTraf utilises General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) technology to transmit data to the central server.
"The WaveTraf sensors, manufactured in the US, are capable of withstanding the harsh summer weather in Qatar, as we learnt from our experiences ever since installing them during May and June of 2012," he explained. In addition to real-time traffic measuring, the sensors also enable localised incident detection, and origination-destination traffic studies, contributing immensely to improve the road conditions in Qatar. The Traffic Department had announced recently that the number of registered traffic violations during 2012 increased by 39.2% from the previous year but the number of deaths decreased by 0.5%.
There were a total of 1,167,346 traffic violations in 2012 as compared to 838,796 in 2011. The increase in the number of violations could be due to more vehicles on the roads and an increase in the population. There was an increase of 7.6% in the number of vehicles registered in 2012, as against 2011. The total number of registered vehicles in Qatar stood at 876,039 in 2012 compared to 814,373 in 2011. In 2012, a total of 44 Qataris died due to traffic accidents, constituting 21.6% of the 204 deaths (184 males and 20 females). The total road traffic fatalities decreased 10.2% from that of 2011.