Currently, the inductive loop is the most widely used vehicle detector in the world. It can measure various traffic parameters, has high accuracy, and has a wide range of applications in vehicle detection. To avoid slowing down the traffic flow on the National Highway No. 4 Taichung Circular Line Fengyuan-Tanzi Section, the Freeway Bureau (an organization under the Ministry of Transportation and Communication in charge of the planning, land acquisition, bidding, and construction of the national expressway network in Taiwan) added inductive loops to the highway and used a traffic flow monitoring solution provided by ICP DAS. This solution helped to solve the problems of collecting, controlling, and analyzing a large amount of information about the traffic condition in real-time.
ICP DAS’s solution for traffic flow monitoring:
In this case, the combination of ICP DAS‘s iP-8441 programmable automation controller, I-8053W-A1-G digital input module, and I-8057W-G digital output module is used to create an inductive loop traffic detector that can monitor vehicle speed and achieve remote control of traffic signals and switches. The architecture of this solution is as follows:
The iP-8441 programmable automation controller has various communication interfaces (Ethernet, RS-232/485) and four slots for expandable I/O modules that can transmit data to the traffic control center via the Modbus TCP communication protocol. It is designed with redundant power inputs that can withstand 1kV noise and surge interference and can be used in a wide temperature range (-25°C ~ +75°C), making it ideal for use in harsh environments. In this case, the iP-8441 programmable automation controller plays an important role in data collection, analysis, and control.
The I-8000 series digital input modules are the expanded I/O modules based on ICP DAS‘s programmable automation controller (PAC). They can provide sixteen digital input channels and are part of the high-profile series in ICP DAS‘s parallel modules product line. They are also high-speed modules that can read a large amount of data in a short time. Because of this, they are suitable for use with inductive loop detectors to measure the traffic flow on the highway.
Traffic flow monitoring with inductive loop detectors
The ICP DAS’s I-8053W-A1-G digital input module transmits inductive loop detectors’ signals via Modbus RTU to the iP-8441 programmable automation controller, which can statistic and analyze traffic flow data, then sends it back via Modbus TCP to the control center. The iP-8441 can also provide road users with various information such as road conditions or real-time traffic information.
Remote control and monitoring of traffic signals and switches
The ICP DAS‘s I-8057W-G digital output module is responsible for displaying traffic signals information and remote control of switches in the control cabinet. With the help of the iP-8441 programmable automation controller and the I-8057W-G digital output module, traffic control personnel can remotely monitor and control the traffic signals and switches, which can help reduce the need for additional labor and provide remote control and monitoring functions.
Variety of communication protocols
Programmable automation controllers from ICP DAS support a variety of communication protocols, including Modbus TCP/RTU, CANbus, EtherCAT, and others. They also have good compatibility with devices from other brands.
Programmable and expandable to meet the needs of various projects
The iP-8441 programmable automation controller has high stability and can also be expanded to four I/O modules, allowing management personnel to set up functions according to the actual situation to meet various needs.
High-speed data reading function
The I-8000 series digital input modules are the expanded I/O modules, part of the high-profile series in ICP DAS‘s parallel high-speed modules, they can transmit a large amount of accurate traffic information to the traffic control center in a short time.
I/O modules have isolation protection devices that help to prevent interference
The I/O modules used in this case contain isolation protection devices to avoid various interferences in data collection and transmission. For example, I-8053W-A1-G has a photocoupler isolator to ensure the stable operation of the data transmission module.
Remote monitoring system integration
Through the system integration of the programmable automation controller and remote I/O modules, the main control terminal has been able to achieve effective remote monitoring, which helps management personnel obtain real-time information about the road condition and also improves overall work efficiency.
ICP DAS’s controllers
ICP DAS is dedicated to the development of controllers for various industries, which can be divided into two groups: programmable automation controllers with an open operating platform and IIoT servers/controllers with simple operation and no programming required. The first group includes 8000 and 9000 series programmable controllers. The second group includes WISE series edge controllers, PMC and PMD series power meter concentrators, and UA series communication servers.
The ICP DAS‘s programmable automation controllers support different communication protocols and work with various operating systems, including Windows, WinCE, Linux, and others. They are highly suitable for applications in complex environments or complicated logical operations like traffic flow monitoring, vaccine cold storage monitoring, and wind/solar energy storage monitoring.
Among them, PMC/PMD series power meter concentrators that can be connected to ICP DAS‘s smart power meters via RS-485 or Ethernet. Thus, they can read and record the energy consumption information measured by the smart power meters in real-time.
The UA series communication servers allow users to connect the front-end devices to the cloud, link IT to OT, link cloud and web apps, and integrate the cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT).
Variety of network connection methods. In addition to Ethernet(Modbus TCP) and RS-485(Modbus RTU), data can be transmitted via the MQTT communication protocol to the cloud monitoring software through encryption.
Variety of real-time alerts. When the equipment does not work correctly, a real-time alert can immediately send a notification to the management personnel (via email, SMS, LINE, WeChat, and others) to solve problems promptly.
In case of an interruption in communication, missing data can be filled in to ensure no data is lost.
With the traffic flow monitoring solution provided by ICP DAS, it is possible to obtain a large amount of traffic data to eliminate serious traffic problems on the highway and improve the regional transportation system’s level of service efficiency. Also, this solution is excellent for creating an overall traffic management strategy to achieve dynamic real-time traffic control.
In addition, the IIoT technology can effectively lower a vehicle’s engine idling, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce energy waste and carbon emissions. ICP DAS is actively working to help customers save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and protect the environment.
ICP DAS was established in 1993 and strongly focuses on innovation and the enhancement of industrial automation technology. ICP DAS continuously endeavors to develop a comprehensive selection of products ranging from remote I/O controllers, distributed I/O modules, I/O data acquisition boards, programmable automation controllers, industrial communication modules, web-related products, motion control systems, SCADA/HMI software to automation solutions for applications critical to energy management, motion automation, smart factories, intelligent buildings, and smart cities. Our ambition is to provide a wide range of high-quality products and versatile applications, together with prompt and efficient services, that can be implemented to assist in the continued success of our clients worldwide.