Initiative 37: Vertical Height Detection Systems

Vertical Height Detection Systems
Description: Vertical Height Detection Systems (VHDS) detect over-height trucks moving toward road structures warning the truck driver to avoid collision with the structure.
Targeted mode: All Traffic Geographic scope: City, Area
Type of initiative: Logistical management: intelligent transportation systems (ITS): Vertical height detection systems (VHDS) Primary objective: Reduce damage to structures by over-height vehicles
Expected costs and level of effort to implement: VHDS are based on ITS; they require careful planning to consider the freight movement, road network, and land use in the area. The planning process should involve the engagement of stakeholders and the participation of the government (e.g., DOTs). The costs are mainly those associated with the initial capital investments and operational costs. (Some VHDS use solar energy as the power source.)

  • Decrease damage to infrastructure
  • Reduce damage to trucks/trailers and occupant injuries
  • Decrease traffic backups due to a reduction of vehicle
  • Collisions with overhead structures
  • Reduce accident claims due to a reduction of truck-overhead structure accidents
  • Automatic notification of incident/violation


  • Require real-life traffic information
  • Require very high/high capital investments
  • Presence of false positives (e.g., birds)


  • Over-height vehicle detection on the Blackwall Tunnel , London, England (ITS International 2013)
  • Over-height vehicle detection system  at the Duhail Interchange of the Doha Expressway (Qatar) (Traffic Tech Group 2013)
Initiative 37-1

Source: ITS International 2013

Initiative 37-2.png

Source: Traffic Tech Group 2013

Related alternatives: 1. Vehicle Size and Weight Restrictions; 2. Real-Time Information Systems; 3. Dynamic Routing
References: Mattingly 2003; BESTUFS 2007; NZ Transport Agency 2011; SUGAR 2011; ITS International 2013; International Road Dynamics Inc. 2014

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