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Knowledge Locked in Data: Breaking Down Smart Traffic Reports

Most rank-and-file employees hate creating them, but comprehensive yet comprehensible reports are the lifeblood of any data system in all industries and organisations. They are crucial for making decisions based on hard data rather than gut feeling.

Traffic management is no different. Every day, traffic reports help controllers, planners, and engineers understand what’s going on on their roads and aid them in their efforts to make transportation networks safer and more efficient.

But compiling a report is only half of the success; the other half is what you make out of the data it presents. To assist you in this, we dive deeper into some traffic reports you can generate using the GoodVision traffic analytics platform, what information you can infer from them, and how to use these insights.

Vehicle list traffic reports: what’s in the traffic?

Let’s look at a relatively basic report available on the Video Insights traffic analytics platform: vehicle list or intrusions report

As the second name suggests, this kind of report shows every object that “intruded” (or entered) a predefined zone on the road or pavement.

Creating this and other traffic reports in GoodVision is easy: all you need to do is place lines or zones on the selected scene, specify the road event, and apply filters. No manual vehicle counting, programming, or calculating parameters are needed.

GoodVision’s vehicle list reports include:

  • Entry Time - Shows when a set object enters the defined zone by passing the first of the drawn lines.
  • Exit Time - Shows when a set object leaves the defined zone by passing the first of the drawn lines.
  • Class - Class of the traffic object. This can be one of the eight default classes or a custom one created by the user.
  • Time Gap - A headway time between the fronts of two consecutive objects.
  • Travel Time - The time between the entry and exit times for a set object.
  • Travel Speed - This can be calculated when movement distances are available.


As you can see, most of the information included in the vehicle list report is pretty straightforward. However, even from these simple traffic records, you can deduce a lot of insights.

Volume counts, safety improvements, and curbing gas emissions

First, the vehicle list report is a base for traffic volume counts. By knowing the number of vehicles passing through the surveyed road section, city planners and traffic managers can understand traffic intensity and its hourly and daily variations or how it’s related to events like holidays, etc. With that, they can identify peak times and traffic patterns, calculate V/C ratios, and more.

On a single road section scale, this data can provide insights into safety, infrastructure utilisation, and road surface wear. For instance, if the analysed intersection sees a lot of heavy vehicle traffic, it’s more likely to require frequent maintenance. Or, if there’s heavy non-motorised traffic, planners may consider developing adequate infrastructure like crossings or bicycle lanes. Similarly, low travel speed combined with low time gaps may mean that the road section is more prone to dangerous traffic events.

In a bigger picture, combining vehicle list reports from several strategic road sections can be used to infer city-wide gas consumption and emissions. This traffic data can inform sustainable mobility investments and policies like EV incentives or car-free zones.

Check out our sample vehicle list report

Saturation flow report: optimising crucial road sections

The saturation flow rate is an essential metric that allows traffic engineers and urban planners to measure the maximum capacity of a road section, usually an intersection or a junction. It describes how many PCUs could pass an intersection at a given time and the maximum traffic density when provided with a constant green signal light.

GoodVision Video Insights calculates saturation flow individually for each lane predefined by the user before a report is generated. Each report contains the following parameters:

  • Freeflow reading - Each reading used to calculate saturation flow.
  • Start of full demand - The starting time of the reading used to calculate saturation flow.
  • End of full demand -  The end time of the reading used to calculate saturation flow.
  • Duration - Duration of the reading.
  • Time gaps - The minimum, maximum, and average time gaps between the vehicles (in seconds).
  • Traffic Volumes - Traffic volumes in each of the readings for all vehicle classes the user chose to include in the report.
  • Total PCU - Total passenger car units in each of the readings.
  • Saturation Flow per Reading - Saturation flow calculated in each of the readings.
  • Total Saturation Flow - Total saturation flow calculation for the selected lane.


The most obviously useful traffic metric here is the total saturation flow. Based on it, traffic engineers can assess how effective the analysed lane is at handling heavy traffic. If the lane is underperforming, they can take measures to facilitate the flow of vehicles. Some include reducing interference from other vehicles, improving visibility, adjusting the turning radius or even changing the intersection layout.

A low saturation flow rate can also indicate traffic issues that take place beyond the surveyed intersection. Bottlenecks can form at narrow approaches and exits or due to congested road sections upstream or downstream. High pedestrian activity in the surrounding area may also affect lane capacity.

At a more granular level, traffic engineers can compare traffic volumes and time gaps from readings taken at different hours and days of the week to track variations in intersection throughput.

Being a video-based platform, GoodVision gives traffic controllers a unique opportunity to compare report data with traffic videos, which is especially helpful in the case of more complicated traffic scenarios and scenes. Additionally, each saturation flow report has a summary containing a visual representation of the analysed vehicle movements.


Check out our sample saturation flow report

Live Dashboards: keep an eye on all road events in real time

For some traffic scenarios, retrospective analysis isn’t enough. Smart traffic control, law enforcement, accident reporting, and other time-sensitive purposes require tools that allow traffic controllers to react to dynamic road events instantaneously.

Live Traffic, a real-time traffic analytics extension of the GoodVision Video Insights platform, does just that. It gives you access to a customisable dashboard, which you can populate with analytical widgets to turn into a one-stop real-time traffic data hub.

Widgets are visual representations of road scenarios you decide to track in real-time. These scenarios include various events such as cross directions, average speed, illegal stops, or licence plate detection. Once a widget is created, it will be populated with live traffic data and displayed visually. Importantly, you can create multiple widgets for each scenario for a clearer overview of the monitored events.


Intuitive traffic data display, all in one view

Live Traffic can also be connected to your third-party applications to automatically send instant alerts or periodic traffic reports to other platforms used in your organisation. This facilitates communication with other team members and ensures your traffic reports stay consistent across all your tools.

The visual, one-in-all approach to real-time data monitoring aims to solve the long-standing traffic management challenge: too many scenes and too few eyes to watch them. Having all live data available in a single location allows traffic controllers to easily track more scenes and react to changing traffic conditions faster.

From a safety standpoint, this may mean that rescue services will be dispatched sooner or a dangerous event will be prevented before it occurs. With real-time reports, traffic managers can also identify the causes of congestion before they can paralyse the city.

Read more about Live Traffic

Put data into action with GoodVision smart traffic reports

Simple or complex, retrospective or created in real-time, accurate reports are a key component of efficient traffic management and urban planning. They provide traffic engineers and controllers with the data needed to make fact-based decisions—especially when this data is available in just a few clicks and reinforced with videos and visualisations.

The reports covered in this article are just some insights you can generate using GoodVision’s AI-powered traffic analytics. Reach out to us and learn more about our platform and the full capabilities of traffic data!

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