New traffic sensor measures number and speed of pedestrians and cyclists in the Kaisantunneli tunnel

Artikkelikuva: New traffic sensor measures number and speed of pedestrians and cyclists in the Kaisantunneli tunnel

Forum Virium Helsinki aims to make the planning of Helsinki cycling routes, in particular, more efficient. Traffic sensors help promote walking and cycling, reduce congestions and lower the risk of accidents.

Forum Virium Helsinki and the Dutch company Technolution are trying out a new sensor in the Kaisantunneli Tunnel. Their goal is to gain accurate and real-time data of the number, routes and travel speed of cyclists and pedestrians in central Helsinki.

“Effective management of city traffic depends on accurate real-time data that allows for a rapid response to changing traffic situations. Conventional counting methods, such as traffic radars, are unable to provide reliable data on cyclists and pedestrians – only on cars,” says Project Coordinator Jussi Knuuttila from Forum Virium. 

The FlowCube, to be tested from May 2024 to May 2025, is a new kind of traffic sensor. It detects and measures all modes of transport, including cycling and walking. The many sensors installed in the city centre are able to combine their data and calculate the most popular cycling routes and travel times on them. 

“In our traffic sensor pilot that began yesterday, we are able to calculate the travel times of cyclists for the first time; for example, the time of travelling through the city centre or from the central railway station to the Pasila district. This is because we can now detect the same cyclists at both ends of their trip – without compromising privacy,” Knuuttila says.

Kaisantunneli liikennelaskuri

The sensor does not use facial recognition or collect or record personal information. Instead, it identifies pedestrians and cyclists based on features such as the colour of their clothing or the qualities of their bike. 

“The new technologies tested by Forum Virium Helsinki in the past year, such as the LiDAR on Esplanadi, are proving to be necessary alternatives for conventional technology,” Knuuttila says.

“Based on more detailed data on travel times, it would be possible to control walking and cycling traffic in real time based on congestions and also to remove snow from the streets that cyclists and pedestrians are using the most. At the same time, we get to test the devices’ suitability for the winter conditions in Helsinki.”

“The data produced by our FlowCube traffic sensors is already being used in many European and American cities. We are happy that we now have a chance to show Helsinki how our sensors improve cycling conditions and safety,” says Aapo Pöyhönen from Technolution.

Watch the video of how the sensor works and how it recognises people.

Photos: Jussi Knuuttila / Forum Virium Helsinki

Additional information

Project Manager Jussi Knuuttila

Jussi Knuuttila
Project Manager
+358 40 671 4200

More reading