Meerkat Traffic Survey Device
Meerkat has been designed and developed in Adelaide, Australia, to assist in improving the understanding of vehicle movements through medium and high speed corners. Through better data and increased understanding of how drivers negotiate bends, we can inform and thereby improve road design, making it safer for all road users.
The Meerkat system utilises LiDAR technology and computer algorithms to track a vehicle through the cornering manoeuvre and calculate the speed and size (classification) of the vehicle. This data is then logged and periodically downloaded for analysis.
What it's Not
Meerkat is not an infringement device. It doesn't contain a camera and therefore cannot identify any vehicle. The lens that can be seen within the device, is the front of the LiDAR sensor.
How it Works
Meerkat works by transmitting an invisable array of infrared light (much like a TV remote control) and receiving the returns that have bounced off objects (vehicles) that pass in front of it. From there, time of flight is used to calculate distance and, over a short period of time (the time it takes your vehicle to pass), multiple returns are fed into an algorithm that determines length of vehicle and speed through the corner.
The data gathered through the Meerkat system is intended to be used to assist motorway designers in understanding the types of vehicles (in broad classifications), their movement through a corner and the time of day of each event. This data will inform designers to shape future road projects around traffic density, flow, speed and safety.
Road design is critical to ensuring safe movement of vehicles to their destination. By understanding driver behaviour, smart road design can cater to all types of vehicles and drivers, ensuring efficient traffic flow, lower fatigue and less accidents.