Assessment of MeMS Sensors in an Urban Traffic Environment
The objective of this "innovative new research topics" proposal was to investigate the potential of a vehicle detection system that combines an acoustic or magnetic sensor, a microprocessor, a radio, and a battery. If such a system is feasible, it would be a low-cost, flexible alternative to loop detection systems. The wireless sensor system could be installed in a few minutes, without the expensive loop installation that requires cutting the pavement, power and loop cabling, and extended traffic disruption. Four tasks were proposed: (1) detecting a stationary vehicle, (2) detecting a moving vehicle, (3) detecting a string of vehicles, and (4) developing a networking protocol. Successful completion of these tasks would constitute evidence that the concept is worthy of further research and development effort. All four tasks have been completed with results that exceed our prior expectations. Indeed the work done has been carried much further.