Benchmarking High-Fidelity Pedestrian Tracking Systems for Research, Real-Time Monitoring and Crowd Control


  • Caspar Pouw Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and ProRail Stations, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Joris Willems Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • Frank van Schadewijk ProRail Stations, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Jasmin Thurau SBB AG, Bern, Switzerland
  • Federico Toschi Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and CNR-IAC, Rome, Italy
  • Alessandro Corbetta Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands



high-fidelity pedestrian tracking, sensor benchmarking, crowd monitoring, real-life pedestrian measurements, industrial and societal applications


High-fidelity pedestrian tracking in real-life conditions has been an important tool in fundamental crowd dynamics research allowing to quantify statistics of relevant observables including walking velocities, mutual distances and body orientations. As this technology advances, it is becoming increasingly useful also in society. In fact, continued urbanization is overwhelming existing pedestrian infrastructures such as transportation hubs and stations, generating an urgent need for real-time highly-accurate usage data, aiming both at flow monitoring and dynamics understanding. To successfully employ pedestrian tracking techniques in research and technology, it is crucial to validate and benchmark them for accuracy. This is not only necessary to guarantee data quality, but also to identify systematic errors. Currently, there is no established policy in this context. In this contribution, we present and discuss a benchmark suite, towards an open standard in the community, for privacy-respectful pedestrian tracking techniques. The suite is technology-independent and it is applicable to academic and commercial pedestrian tracking systems, operating both in lab environments and real-life conditions. The benchmark suite consists of 5 tests addressing specific aspects of pedestrian tracking quality, including accurate line-based crowd flux estimation, local density estimation, individual position detection and trajectory accuracy. The output of the tests are quality factors expressed as single numbers. We provide the benchmark results for two tracking systems, both operating in real-life, one commercial, and the other based on overhead depth-maps developed at TU Eindhoven, within the Crowdflow topical group. We discuss the results on the basis of the quality factors and report on the typical sensor and algorithmic performance. This enables us to highlight the current state-of-the-art, its limitations and provide installation recommendations, with specific attention to multi-sensor setups and data stitching.

Author Biography

Alessandro Corbetta, Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Department of Applied Physics
Eindhoven University of Technology


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How to Cite

Pouw, C., Willems, J., van Schadewijk, F., Thurau, J., Toschi, F., & Corbetta, A. (2022). Benchmarking High-Fidelity Pedestrian Tracking Systems for Research, Real-Time Monitoring and Crowd Control. Collective Dynamics, 6, 1–22.



Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2021