Making streets safer starts with objective traffic data. Discover our home traffic monitoring device for TML, a neat feat of citizen science.

The client

Discover Telraam. A small device with a big impact on traffic. Citizens attach it to their windows to perform intricate traffic counts through a state-of-the-art AI engine. This data helps improve traffic flows. In case of roadworks, congestions or other complications, local governments can gain insights into the actual problem and take action. It provides them with affordable and accessible data on traffic. At the same time, it empowers local committees and action groups. With objective numbers they can plead their case for safer and more liveable streets. In short, Telraam is at that sweet spot where citizen science, mobility, sustainability and AI meet.

TML or Transport & Mobility Leuven is a renowned engineering office that performs large-scale mobility studies. TML developed their first version of the traffic monitoring device as an alternative to traffic counters in the streets. These traditional installations are a lot more expensive and intrusive and produce less detailed counts. TML came to Bagaar looking for a partner to make their solution scalable with expertise in hardware, firmware and data security and proven project management skills.

“We needed a partner with demonstrated experience in hardware development. As hardware is very new for us, someone we can trust and help develop the concept and even the business case was very important for us. Bagaar is not just a “supplier” but a true partner for Telraam.”

Kris Vanherle, co-founder Telraam

The challenge

Telraam Version 1 was a Raspberry Pi microcomputer equipped with a camera. This camera was aimed at the street to monitor all traffic that passed by. It was a good proof of concept to validate demand but it lacked the opportunity to scale internationally. To this end, we needed dedicated hardware with its own design focused on performing one task, cost and performance optimised. Together with Telraam and Kapernikov, our partner specialised in AI on edge, we applied for innovation subsidies at Vlaio to start on a worthy successor.

Take a look at the evolution in our casing. These are a few of the technical sketches and playful design concepts made by our product designer Alexander Vercruysse.

Our very first tests with an e-ink screen. The crazy cat has not been withheld.

The solution

Leveraging recent improvements in edge computing, we were able to move the AI (Artificial Intelligence) onto the device itself (edge computing). This solved a lot of problems. Traffic monitoring calculations are now performed on the device. That means no pictures containing personal or sensitive information are sent to the cloud. Images are processed on chip into high level data. Only the number of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks, etc. is transferred. We also added a GPS unit and compass to the device for a seamless onboarding experience. In the end, we killed four birds with one stone. We achieved a good user experience, intelligent energy management, reduced the cost of communication and solved potential privacy issues.

It takes quite a few prototypes to create a winner.

The results

Today, there are over 1600 active Telraam version 1 devices scattered over the whole of Europe and beyond reaching up to the U.S., Canada and Mexico. All these devices are providing governments and local committees with better insights to improve traffic flows.

The dream is to take over the world with version 2 democratizing access to objective traffic data. On to smarter and safer streets across the globe!