Last May 15, DLSU and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) launched the Contactless Apprehension for Traffic Violators on 24-Hour Basis and All-Vehicle Detection System (CATCH-ALL) Project.
As a response to traffic congestion, the said project can detect vehicles with traffic violations such as swerving, number coding, counterflowing, and illegal parking. Traffic is monitored in real time through ten closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed around DLSU. A temporary LED board displaying the violator’s plate number and corresponding violation are also installed near DLSU along Estrada Street.
According to CATCH-ALL Project Leader Dr. Elmer Dadios, DLSU played a big role in the development and implementation of the project. Initiated last December 2015, the CATCH-ALL project has gone through numerous research and testing by the team of experts headed by Dr. Dadios. The project was eventually funded by the DOST-PCIEERD with a grant of P5 million.
The technology behind
CATCH-ALL follows a complex system that captures violators on a 24-hour basis. The team behind the project developed CATCH-ALL using artificial intelligence that does not need any intervention or manual manipulation from humans. The specialized CCTV cameras have image and video capturing capabilities through fiber optic technology. The images are then processed in a laboratory situated within DLSU containing multiple computers.
“[W]e have a vision system. We have an algorithm. We developed our own software in identifying the car, profiling the car [whether it is] small, medium, or large, what type of car it is,” Dr. Dadios explains. “We can [also] identify the motions of the car from one location to another. We can track the cars. We can also look at the way it moves and [as well as to] track the speed of the car.”
Once the plate numbers are stored, the system can clip the video for storage and documentation purposes. Should the owner have future complaints, the video clip will be presented as proof that the corresponding vehicle has violated traffic rules. Dr. Dadios also expresses that the system is working perfectly as the vehicles are displayed on the LED screen in real time, which would alert the driver that violations are being committed.
Correcting driver behavior
Traffic congestion, according to Dr. Dadios, is caused by two reasons. One is due to the huge volume of vehicles and the other is due to the behavior of drivers. CATCH-ALL intends to solve the latter says, would be the allocation of time of the traffic lights.
“If everyone is queueing on one location [and if] the allocation of time for the traffic lights is not synchronized, there’s [going to] be a long queue,” Dadios explains. “One part of the development that we want is to control the traffic lights. We are working on that for the next phase.”
Still in the works
While the CATCH-ALL system intends to address “behavior-based congestion,” the project does not include the arrest of violators. The responsibility to sanction the violators rests on the agencies involved such as the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and Local Government Units.
The DOST-PCIEERD has been very supportive with the project, Dr. Dadios expresses. The agency has been busy with information dissemination, as well as coordinating with government agencies in widening the range of the project.
Currently, DLSU and the Manila City Government are in the process of working together in a partnership that will extend the scope of the CATCH-ALL project to the entirety of Manila. “It can be legislated in the city of Manila as an ordinance for violation penalties for those who are caught by our system. We are ready because it is in the database. The violators are saved in the database of our system,” Dr. Dadios claims.
The system can also directly communicate or notify the violator through text message or email, depending on the information that LTO has available of the vehicle owner. The CATCH-ALL project was also given clearance for the immediate access of the said data. However, the communication feature is still in the process of enhancement. Likewise, Dr. Dadios and his team are still waiting for the decisions of government agencies before they could develop more CATCH-ALL systems for more cities.