Nebraska LTAP


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NDOR Research Project Number Z820


This report presents information on Research Project Number Z820 (UNL Ref. No. 26-1118- 0057-001) titled “Application of Freeway Video Surveillance for Accident Investigation.” Traffic accident investigation requires detailed documentation of the accident scene, vehicles, and persons involved in the collision. To adequately document an accident scene, investigating officers accurately record various measurements (e.g., skid marks, dimensions of different highway geometric elements, etc.). Typically, a measuring tape and/or a total station (theodolite) are used to obtain the needed measurements. Advances in digital imaging and computer technology make it possible to develop cost-effective traffic accident investigation system alternatives that provide sufficient accuracy, significant time savings, and reduced costs. Utilizing stereo machine vision technology an accident investigation system, called the UNL Traffic Accident Investigation Tool (TAIT) consisting of two digital cameras and measurementextraction software tool were developed in this project. A mock traffic accident was investigated using TAIT. Measurements provided by TAIT were compared to true values obtained by using a measuring tape. The accuracy of TAIT satisfied requirements of traffic accident investigation agencies. In addition, equipment costs as well as investigation time were reduced compared to the typical accident data collection methods. The UNL TAIT is a prototype and requires further development before it can be integrated into the day-today operations of agencies investigating traffic accidents.