New system monitors pedestrian and cyclist safety


Researchers at UHasselt have developed a new monitoring system for busy traffic areas that detects possible dangers to cyclists and pedestrians

Detection system

Together with other European organisations, Hasselt University’s Institute for Mobility (Imob) has developed Ruba – short for Road User Behaviour Analysis – to better monitor the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Current video-based systems for road safety monitoring record non-stop. The large sets of data then have to be screened manually, which is a time-consuming process. With the Ruba system, the monitoring starts only when traffic is detected.

The tool can automatically detect specific traffic situations through the use of detector fields. One detector field, for example, registers the colour of a traffic light, a second registers a crossing pedestrian and a third an approaching car. The combination of fields can automatically detect dangerous situations such as if a pedestrian crosses a street against the light when a car is approaching.

Imob  will deploy Ruba in urban areas, said Imob researcher Tim De Ceunynck. “We will examine how we can use information on both dangerous and safe traffic situations to predict the risk of serious accidents.”

Traffic experts and local governments can also use the tool to get a better view of specific problems concerning vulnerable road users. “This way, they can improve pedestrian and cyclist safety as efficiently as possible,” said De Ceunynck. The UHasselt initiative is part of the EU project InDev.

Photo courtesy Stad Gent