Traffic Management Using Wireless Sensor Networks

Traffic jam is a major problem in urban areas, which ahs dramaticconsequences on the economy, environment, and human health. Some figures show transport is responsible for about50% of global oil consumption, and for up to 90% of carbon monoxide worldwide.

Wireless sensor networks (WSN) may be used in a variety ofapplications related to vehicular traffic management. This helps to improve thecoverage and efficiency of existing traffic management systems and technologieswith low-cost solutions, and will undoubtedly reduce traffic jam. For instance,networked wireless sensor motes may be deployed at intersections tocooperatively counts the number of vehicles at each road segment andaccordingly manage traffic light signals. They can also be deployed at ramps tocount vehicles entering a freeway, and in case of a high traffic a reroutingnotification may be launched (using services of some existing networks, phone operators), which enables potential vehicles approaching thefreeway to use other alternative routes whenever possible. A sensor network mayalso be used in a car park to count the entering/leaving vehicles and detectthe presence/absence of vehicles in every parking space. This will enable,first to inform coming vehicles about the space availability, then to drivethem towards the closest available space.

The aim ofthis project is to design and deploy a wireless sensor network enabling to detectand count the number of vehicles in urban areas, and then to automaticallymanage the traffic according to the collected information (actuation). Thiswill be achieved through several communication and data processing protocols,such as medium access, routing, coordination mechanisms, and data aggregation. Morefocus in this project on two applications, for which we will propose and testprototype solutions. These applications are traffic light management atintersections, and car park management. Proposed solutions would be extendableto other type of applications.