Smarter traffic signs with Doppler radar, traffic and weather sensors for real-time driver alerts

Smart traffic signs combining Doppler radar and video with acoustic and weather sensors can track traffic volume and alert drivers in real time of upcoming dangers.

Have you ever been stuck in a pile-up or nearly missed one in bad weather? Polish researchers have created smart traffic signs that use Doppler radar, video, acoustic radar and built-in weather stations to monitor road traffic and conditions to warn drivers in real time of dangers and to avoid collisions on highways.

At the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, to be held virtually from December 7-10, 2020, Andrzej Czyzewski, from Gdansk University of Technology, will describe his applied research project to develop autonomous road signs with integrated acoustic radars. . Its session, “Comparing Traffic Intensity Estimates Using Passive Acoustic Radar and Microwave Doppler Radar Sensor,” will be held on December 7 at 10:15 a.m. in the East the United States.

Smarter road signs

Polish researchers have created smart traffic signs that use Doppler radar, video, acoustic radar and built-in weather stations to monitor road traffic and conditions to warn drivers in real time of dangers and to avoid collisions on highways. Credit: Czyzewski

“We can calibrate an acoustic vector sensor so that it can be used to measure the volume of traffic on the freeway and count vehicles by analyzing the noise they make as they pass,” Czyzewski said. . “Our work also allows us to compare the effectiveness of microwave methods versus acoustic radar methods.”

Signals obtained from Doppler radar can be used as a reference source.

“Although the acoustic vector sensor, the embodiment of acoustic radar, has a precision than Doppler radar for vehicle counting and is not able to measure vehicle speed with the same precision, it has key advantages over Doppler sensors, ”he said.

The main advantages are that it emits no signal and that it is not sensitive to electromagnetic interference like Doppler sensors are. An acoustic vector sensor also helps analyze audio signals to provide an assessment of road conditions, whether wet or dry.

As part of this project, signs are being designed that can be placed on a mobile stand or hung over the road. They display dynamically updated recommended speeds, which are determined automatically by an electronic module mounted in the traffic panel.

The panels communicate via V2X technology, also known as Vehicle to Everything, a derivative of Wi-Fi designed for fast-moving objects that allows Bluetooth-enabled smartphones and cars to talk to each other.

This technology was set to be deployed earlier this year, “but the pandemic has slowed production,” Czyzewski said.

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