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Disruptive Engineering next-generation road sensors for sustainable transport

The VS1 sensor system by Disruptive Engineering enables cities to resolve safety, congestion and emissions issues.Published 22 Mar 2023 (updated 7 Feb 2024) · 3 min read
People biking through city

Quick information

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At a glance

  • VS1 sensors alleviate traffic congestion by optimising use of existing infrastructure
  • In-road sensors can detect any vehicle and traffic patterns without using cameras
  • AI and machine learning improve data integrity and enable classification of vehicles and other modes of transport

Traffic congestion continues to plague mobility on a daily basis despite the growing number of major road infrastructure projects. As a result, more countries are focusing on making better use of existing infrastructure as well.

Sensors are used to address traffic congestion, toll automation, traffic management, detection of incidents, and more. However, their efficacy is constrained by the trade-off between data accuracy and data richness.

Inductive loops, which detect objects passing over their area, are among the most accurate technologies, but they are used often in combination with cameras and other systems to enrich the data. While inductive loops are placed below the road pavement, camera systems must be positioned above ground, making them unsuitable in harsh conditions. They also raise privacy issues.

Sensors gather intelligent vehicle and traffic data

The VS1 sensor system provides relevant and rich data. The sensors are able to sense any vehicle without having to see it. They can be installed underneath the pavement much like inductive loops, without any constraints to what they can detect.

The sensors detect all the unique features of a vehicle while the brain of the system gathers additional data, such as fuel type, vehicle category, length, width and speed. It can even distinguish the specific make and model of passing vehicles. These vehicle biometrics create a unique signature for each vehicle without compromising personal privacy.

Sensor strips on roll

Concrete benefits

In-road VS1 sensors detect every passing vehicle, including its speed, length and width, as well as the gap time between vehicles. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities enable the system to classify vehicles by any given class, such as engine type.

The system can detect other modes of urban transportation as well, including bicycles, electric bicycles and electric scooters. It is durable, withstanding harsh Nordic conditions, as well as compatible with complementary sensors.

Data is shared easily in real-time, and installation and maintenance costs are minimal. The system is also compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Market potential

While VS1 can be applied to several market segments, primary focus is on critical infrastructure such as tunnels, large intra-city highways and smart cities – for a combined market potential of USD 130 million.

The traffic sensor market itself is expected to grow from USD 228.0 million in 2017 to USD 381.3 million by 2023. Growth can be attributed to several factors such as the increasing need for real-time information systems, government initiatives to modify transport infrastructure, increasing urbanisation and population growth.

The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) market was valued at USD 23.35 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 30.74 billion by 2023. ITS solutions with advanced sensors are being adopted more and more to reduce road fatalities, facilitate traffic flow and support reduction in traffic-related emissions and will continue to drive industry growth.



Moerveien 12, 1430 ÅS, Norway


Fredrik Vangsal

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