The PlacePod Vehicle Counting sensor (PlacePod VC) is an in-ground sensor that communicates with a LoRa gateway to provide real-time vehicle counts. It has a similar outline to the PlacePod Vehicle Detector but has a much larger battery and therefore requires a deeper hole.
The PlacePod VC is designed to count cars in driveways and divided lanes.
The PlacePod VC is meant to be used in pairs. Two sensors are placed in a row 10 feet apart in the center of the lane. The sensor will not determine direction, it must be installed so cars will only drive in one direction over the sensor.
The PlacePod VC works in pairs. Each sensor will send a LoRa packet on every event that includes the current count, between 0-127. The packet is forwarded to the cloud algorithm (accessible via API) which then takes the current count from each sensor, combined with some information from the LoRaWAN packet header (frame counter, time stamp) and determine if one of the sensors has missed a vehicle or if the LoRa gateway has missed the packets from one or both the sensors then increment the count.
Vehicle Traffic Speed
The PlacePod VC is meant for slow moving traffic such as parking lots, drive through windows and drop off zones. It has been tested for vehicles driving less than 25 mph (40 km/h).
The PlacePod VC requires a LoRaWAN gateway to be installed much closer than the PlacePod Vehicle Detector as there is more traffic and the packets are sent using SF 7 rather than SF 10. A site survey is mandatory using a PlacePod to determine realistic signal strength between the sensor and the gateway.
Can I get a surface mount PlacePod Vehicle Counting Sensor?
There is a version of the PlacePod VC that is surface mount, this is only used for short term proof of concept or testing.
I can't make holes in my garage surface I need a surface mount PlacePod VC.
Support can provide an estimated battery life for different number of cars per day. Contact your local sales rep to see if it's possible to special order this version.
Since its a pair of sensors can I determine the direction or speed of the car?
No, unfortunately due to the nature of LoRa packets they do not always reach the gateway from the shortest path (or reach the closest gateway). This makes timestamp of the packets too imprecise to determine which direction/speed of the vehicle.
Can I only use one sensor? Why two?
We determined to have the required reliability we needed to have two sensors working in pairs. Each sensor is counting and sends out the count at every event, 0-127 then rolls over back to 0.
Cloud Algorithm!? Why do I need to use your API?
The cloud algorithm is simply looking at the packet counter, time stamps and count transmitted by the sensors then makes its decision. You can write you own algorithm and build it in to your application, we are just providing this as a courtesy and it's how we provide the accuracy and reliability of the count.
If I have multiple lanes how far apart do the sensors need to be?
If you have an in & out sharing the same driveway (but two lanes), as long as cars are staying in the correct lane the sensors can be installed in the center of each individual lane, 8 ft should be ok.
Where in the lane do I install the sensor?
Make sure the sensors are installed in the path of the vehicles so that the vehicle drives with its center of mass over the sensor. It is important to have the car driver over the sensors. It is very helpful to do a site survey and watch how the cars are driving. If there is a pay station they will tend to move closer to one side. If a corner or turn is coming up, cars tend to move out of their lane to make the turn.
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