National Traffic Sensor System Evaluation Program

Traffic sensors are essential components of all highway traffic monitoring and traffic management systems and reporting. Traffic monitoring depends upon reliable detection and accurate measurement of flow rate, speed, classification, and other parameters for various modes of transportation. Active traffic management systems and other intelligent transportation systems applications require these parameters and more for varied uses like traffic control systems, wrong-way driving detection, near-miss crash analysis, and predictive analysis. Sensor systems based on new and emerging technologies—such as optics, electronics, communications, artificial intelligence, and connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) applications—are rapidly supplanting traditional traffic sensor systems, but they typically lack independent evaluation of their accuracy and performance. State and local agencies must often rely on informal, inconclusive evaluations and pilot deployments to assess sensor systems’ suitability for highway applications. The burden to test every sensor type and revision that comes to market creates massive duplication of effort and wastes time, effort, and funding. Although millions of traffic sensors are in use, manufacturers and distributers can rarely provide independent third-party test results demonstrating their real-world performance. Sensor errors can seriously affect safety, mobility, and public trust. The lack of information regarding system performance and reliability in different operational domains can lead to misapplication of sensor systems, unacceptable performance, or short service life. An authoritative method and a national testing program are needed to characterize the performance and identify the operational domains of current and emerging traffic sensor systems. The objective of this research is to develop evaluation criteria and testing methods for traffic monitoring sensors and systems, which could serve as the foundation for a national sensor system evaluation program.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-145

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Zhao, Yi

  • Start Date: 20230725
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01847448
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-145
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 27 2022 11:42AM