Low-Cost Connected Work Zone Devices With Simplified ArchitectureAuthor/Presenter: Vorhes, Glenn; Noyce, David
Connected work zone devices for safety, traffic monitoring, and performance evaluation are important assets in road construction projects. Challenges for implementation and connectivity present a barrier to their use and full realization of benefits. Typical connected work zone devices require dedicated cellular modems with monthly data charges for each device. The numerous connections or proprietary platforms hinder integration with a central advanced traffic management system. The described architecture presents considerable costs in data ownership and security concerns. This paper presents an alternative architecture wherein many inexpensive monitoring and incident detection devices read and process sensor data and communicate information by radio link to a single internet connected hub that forwards information to a central server. The server then notifies client applications that support work zone monitoring and incident response. From a field test of the radio units in an active work zone, the effective transmission range was found to be 3 km. All devices in a work zone up to 6 km in length could be serviced by a single internet-connected base receiver station centered within it. Prototype devices were created using readily and inexpensively available sensors and microcontrollers. An example dashboard was created to show real-time work zone device and sensor information on a mapping interface. This project shows how use of connected work zone devices can be expanded at low cost using commonly available hardware and skills with a simplified architecture and encapsulated complexity from the standpoint of work zone management personnel while retaining data ownership.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: March 17, 2022
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Costs; Detectors; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Mobile Applications; Sensors; Traffic Control Devices; Traffic Surveillance; Work Zones