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Wrong-way driving detection - How-To Series in FLOW Insights
Wrong-way driving detection - How-To Series in FLOW Insights

Learn how to detect wrong-way driving and use warnings and alerts with FLOW to improve road safety in such cases.

DataFromSky avatar
Written by DataFromSky
Updated over a week ago

Despite the signs that mark highway exits, wrong-way driving still happens. It is especially dangerous on highways due to high speeds and turning around safely being impossible. In the USA alone about 350 people die every year because of wrong-way driving accidents. (US Department of Transportation) Systems like the detection of wrong-way driving can help to prevent these accidents on multiple levels. First by alerting the driver with flashing LED warning signs as they try to come onto the highway in the wrong way to help them realize they need to stop. Second by warning other drivers with variable message signs to be alert and reduce speeds and third by alerting police to assist the driver or try to stop them. The police can also notify radio news to alert more drivers. Our AI video analysis framework FLOW can help by detecting the wrong-way driving in real-time and not just on highways. Read this step-by-step guide and learn how easy it is to set up wrong-way driving detection in FLOW and improve road safety.

If you are new to FLOW - read this article or watch our webinar to get familiar with the basics. Links to more FLOW-specific guides can be found below.

What will you learn from this article?

  1. How to set up a live detector for wrong-way driving

  2. How to visualize the traffic data on the dashboard

  3. How to get actionable information about wrong-way drivers

If you do not have FLOW Insights yet - DOWNLOAD it here for free!


First, we drag and drop a category filter to the canvas. We double-click it to open its menu and we tick boxes to select the following categories: car, light, heavy, bus, and motorcycle as shown in the picture below. We do this because we want the filter to only react to motorized vehicles.

Second, we need to create a gate. We use the Create zones/gate tool in the top left corner and draw a line across all the lanes of the road going in one direction. Make sure when drawing the detection gate that it only covers the desired lane. Next, drag the gate over to the canvas and select the direction you want to detect. You can tell the direction by looking at the black and white arrows on the sides of the gate in the video view.

To have a better overview of the situation we can add a “trajectory view" widget to the category filter in the canvas and also a “value” widget to the gate. When we add the value widget we name it “number of wrong-way drivers detected” and on the bottom of the menu we click “add a new color” and select red. We do this so we better notice if there is a problem and if FLOW detected a wrong-way driver. We can then monitor the situation with the widgets we have added in the dashboard tab.

Information can be communicated out of FLOW to other systems using the public API for real-time-driven applications. With them, you can create immediate notifications about wrong-way drivers and a warning on the LED sign by the road. Flashing LED sign with warnings such as: “Wrong way! Stop the vehicle!” that would trigger when the vehicle would be detected which could prevent the wrong way highway entry and avert a potential accident. To easily control other devices or signals for interpretation from FLOW you can use I/O interfaces. Data sinks from the Sinks tab under the Programming Elements menu in the canvas. Below you can see how a sink would look like if you would like to get data on wrong-way drivers from the previous 12-hour time block. Learn more about sinks here.


You have learned about the issue of wrong-way driving and how such accidents can be prevented using notifications and LED panels. This is possible with the power of FLOW which comes in many forms suitable for different uses. The plug n play TrafficCamera is best for simple scenarios such as two-lane roads. If you need to monitor more lanes on highways and ensure the data connectivity with LTE or Wifi you can use the TrafficEmbedded that supports up to 6 cameras. You can even get data from cameras across a whole city with the TrafficEnterprise that also allows the use of existing camera infrastructure with full FLOW functionality. Additionally, FLOW provides valuable real-time data and is easy to use thanks to its visual programming interface. Learn more about it here.

We hope that you have enjoyed this guide.

To browse more articles about FLOW click here.

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