VOTERS (Versatile Onboard Traffic-Embedded Roaming Sensors) aims to provide a continuous stream of accurate, up-to-date information about the state of roadways and bridge decks gathered by sensor systems mounted on vehicles of opportunity, while also eliminating the hazardous, congestion-prone work zones that are often set up to gather this critical data.
Research will focus on the development of a cost-effective, lightweight package of advanced radar, acoustic, optical, and GPS sensors that will be integrated into one VOTERS system which can be mounted on regular cars and trucks (vehicles of opportunity) to gather information as they navigate through daily traffic. The VOTERS data will be available through a centralized geospatial database coupled with GIS applications for data access.
The project involves significant research challenges - in particular, the development of inexpensive sensors that collect data at regular driving speeds without coming into contact with the road, while guaranteeing accurate geo-referencing of all data streams.
The VOTERS project is funded under the TIP program of the NIST and will run for five years at a total cost of $18.8 million, including cost-sharing by the project participants. The VOTERS team includes about 40 faculty, research scientists, staff, and graduate students from three universities as well as professional engineers from the industrial joint venture partner.