The fundamental concept is one of intelligent nodes integrated into the crash barriers with the functionality that could include:

  • Crash sensing – to locate and potentially classify a crash event – to be used as a trigger for alerting emergency services, road network control centres and other road users. Candidate technology – automotive airbag sensors, strain gauging.

  • Road condition sensing – providing information about hazards such as ice and possibly even dangerous spills. Candidate technologies might include simple temperature and humidity sensing, VOC sensing, possibly camera technology.

  • Traffic flow monitoring – identifying traffic flow reduction for providing warning for “upstream” vehicles.

  • Video monitoring – for obstacle and other hazard detection, possible crash event classification.

  • Communications to the infrastructure to provide data for infrastructural information systems, emergency services and road network control centres.

  • Communications to other road users via infrastructure to vehicle communications.

In order to reduce demands on the infrastructure in terms of power and communication buses, energy scavenging and wireless communications techniques will be pursued throughout the project.

Where possible the system will make use of low cost sensing and communication technology already developed for the automotive industry – including such things as automotive airbag crash sensors and automotive radar technology.

Advantages:

  • Increased coverage of road system with useful and timely data compared with existing systems.

  • Reduced cost in comparison with existing infrastructural sensing systems.

  • Enhanced information for all stakeholders

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