Recently, radar technology has attracted attention for the realization of an intelligent transportation system (ITS) to monitor, track, and manage vehicle traffic on the roads as well as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) for driving assistance of vehicles. However, when radar is installed on roads or in tunnels, the detection performance is significantly dependent on the deployment conditions and environment around the radar. In particular, in the case of tunnels, the detection accuracy for a moving vehicle drops sharply owing to the diffuse reflection of radio frequency (RF) signals. In this paper, we propose an optimal deployment condition based on height and tilt angle as well as a noise-filtering scheme for RF signals so that the performance of vehicle detection can be robust against external conditions on roads and in tunnels. To this end, first, we gather and analyze the misrecognition patterns of the radar by tracking a number of randomly selected vehicles on real roads. In order to overcome the limitations, we implement a novel road watch module (RWM) that is easily integrated into a conventional radar system such as Delphi ESR. The proposed system is able to perform real-time distributed data processing of the target vehicles by providing independent queues for each object of information that is incoming from the radar RF. Based on experiments with real roads and tunnels, the proposed scheme shows better performance than the conventional method with respect to the detection accuracy and delay time. The implemented system also provides a user-friendly interface to monitor and manage all traffic on roads and in tunnels. This will accelerate the popularization of future ITS services.
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