A real-time architecture for a highway vehicle detection system is presented in the article. The Laser Based Detection System (LBDS), focused on helping the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), measures a key quantitative parameter of vehicles moving across a link of highway, namely, travel time. Travel time is based upon the identifying and reidentifying vehicles at various points on the highway. This article provides a method to collect real-time signals from an active laser source in the LBDS and calculate vehicle parameters using a standard computer. A method of message exchange between a real-time kernel process, for real-time data acquisition, and a user space process, for computing and displaying, is given under the RTLinux environment. Experimental results from field tests have shown that the application of the real-time architecture to the LBDS provides speeds deterministically.

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