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The Research Connection

Dr. Pravin Varaiya's Presentation on "Wireless Sensor Networks for Measuring Traffic"

The Caltrans Division of Research and Innovation is hosting monthly videoconferences on various topics. The presentations are designed to bring researchers and practitioners together to exchange information and transfer knowledge.

Dr. Pravin Varaiya
Dr. Pravin Varaiya
Electrical Engineering Professor Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of California, Berkeley

On April 27, 2006, Dr. Pravin Varaiya presented "Wireless Sensor Networks for Measuring Traffic."

Pravin Varaiya is Nortel Networks Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1975 to 1992 he was also Professor of Economics at Berkeley. His research is concerned with transportation, communication networks, and hybrid systems. Since 1989, he has been affiliated with the California PATH Program, including as Director from 1994-1997, and PI of the PeMS project.

Varaiya has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Miller Research Professorship. He received an Honorary Doctorate from L’Institute National Polytechnique de Toulouse, and the Field Medal of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is a Fellow of IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is on the editorial board of several journals, including Transportation Research--C. He has co-authored three books and 300 technical papers. The second edition of High-Performance Communication Networks (with Jean Walrand) was published by Morgan-Kaufmann in 2000. “Structure and Interpretation of Signals and Systems” (with Edward Lee) was published in 2003 by Addison-Wesley.

Topic Description: Wireless Sensor Networks for Measuring Traffic

Wireless magnetic sensor networks offer a very attractive, easy-to-install, low-cost alternative to inductive loops, video, and radar for traffic measurement. The network comprises sensor nodes placed in a 2-inch core flush with the pavement where vehicles are to be detected. The nodes send their data via radio to the “access point” or AP on the side of the road. The AP forwards sensor data to a roadside controller of the Traffic Management Center via GPRS. The battery-powered nodes have a 10-year lifetime. How will this help measure traffic? How are vehicles detected using wireless sensor networks? How are vehicles identified? These and many other questions related to measuring traffic using wireless sensor networks will be explored during the presentation.

Please click here for the video presentation.