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TelecomTM: A Fine-grained and Ubiquitous Traffic Monitoring System Using Pre-Existing Telecommunication Cables as Sensors

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Graduate Researcher: Jingxiao Liu

Faculty Advisor: Hae Young Noh

Roadway traffic monitoring can help reduce traffic jams and manage emergency situations by understanding traffic patterns. It can also help monitor and maintain transportation infrastructures by providing traffic characteristics, such as vehicle size and weight. Many existing approaches for traffic monitoring use cameras or pavement piezoelectric sensors, but they are limited due to privacy concerns and/or deployment requirements such as clear line-of-sight and dense (and costly) instrumentation. Crowdsensing approaches using mobile devices have been developed to address these issues, but they only provide limited traffic information, such as vehicle positions. To this end, we present TelecomTM, the first sensing system that uses roadside telecommunication (telecom) fiber optic cables as sensors to achieve fine-grained and ubiquitous traffic monitoring. TelecomTM senses vehicle-induced ground vibrations by turning pre-existing telecom fiber cables into virtual strain sensors called distributed acoustic sensors. Due to its non-dedicated nature and extensively installed pre-existing telecom cables in the cities, TelecomTM can monitor traffic at fine-granularity and low cost with low maintenance.


Biondo Biondi, Siyuan Yuan