Accurate and reliable traffic data are the basis for traffic management applications, for the assessment of planning applications and for a realistic traffic simulation and forecast. For the testing of new methods and sensors under real-world conditions, the DLR has constructed a test track with a length of 1.2 kilometres on the Ernst-Ruska-Ufer in Berlin - the UTRaLab (

Urban Traffic Research Laboratory). About 30.000 vehicles are recorded daily along their route from the Berlin districts Adlershof and Köpenick to the

federal motorway 113.


The UTRaLab is equipped with measurement and surveillance technology which is implemented into the road as well as into two accessible overhead gantry signs. Four route stations collect the data, process them according to norm (TLS-Standard) and forward them to a main compute and database centre. The installed sensor technology includes…

…on the gantries:

  • 16 digital cameras and 3 analogue cameras with zoom and pivoting/tilting head for traffic surveillance and picture processing
  • Eight radar sensors for the detection of vehicles (vehicle type, amount and velocity)
  • Visibility range meter (10m to 500m)
  • A meteorological station to record environmental conditions (air temperature and humidity, wind direction and force, rainfall force and volume, brightness).

…in the road:

  • 45 double induction loops for the detection of vehicles(vehicle type, amount and velocity)
  • Ground sensor to inspect the road condition (dry, moist, wet, glaze), road temperature, residual salinity and to calculate the estimated freezing point


The overhead gantries are an ideal place for testing and validating new, innovative traffic surveillance sensors. They are connected to each other and to the main database by fast (1 GBit/s) fibre optic data links.

In the main processing centre, the collected data are stored in a database. Subsequently, they can be processed and visualized as charts and tables. Simultaneously, individual vehicle data can be recorded separately by any dual-loop detector or radar sensor and thus offer very efficient possibilities for the surveillance of the quality and reliability of sensors. Furthermore, they can be coupled to devices installed on the gantries and can therefore be used to cross-validate new sensors in a thorough and comprehensive manner.

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