Traffic Congestion Detection And Control Using RFID Technology

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International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013Traffic Congestion Detection and Control using RFID TechnologyNiketa Chellani#1,Chirag Tahilyani#1#1Student, Electronics and Telecommunication Dept, TSEC, Mumbai UniversityAbstractIJERTRoad traffic poses a major challenge for most of theurban areas. With the growing number of vehicles eachday, resolving this issue is paramount. Though use ofexisting popular technologies for traffic congestion anddetection control have been studied in recent times,none of them provides an automated system thatmanages traffic based on detected level of congestion.The objective of this paper is to propose an effectivescheme for road traffic management which is fullyautomated and foolproof considering the rate of evergrowing traffic in urban areas. In this paper, wediscuss the existing and most widely employedtechnologies for traffic detection and congestioncontrol with their limitations and also propose analternative model for the same which employs RFIDtechnology. The basic idea used for traffic managementhere is to detect and control congestion by using adecision making algorithm which determines how thetraffic light operates based on the information collectedfrom RFID devices.vehicle may slow down owing to numerous reasons,leading to the subsequent slowing down of thefollowing vehicles and hence causing trafficcongestion. These reasons have been studied vastly anddifferent technologies have been explored to detect andcontrol traffic congestion.Most popular method of controlling traffic is a trafficsignal which operates simply on timers. They areprogrammed to function in a specific mannerirrespective of the traffic at a given time of the day.Inevitably, they fail to avoid congestion. However,these days detectors are commonly employed whichuse the most common technique of inductive loop.Other technologies include GPS devices, Radartechnology etc. But these technologies have severaldrawbacks for example they fail in certain situations,have installation and maintenance problems and costlimitations etc.In this paper, we propose a smart and fully automaticsystem that can detect congestion in real time, andsubsequently manage it efficiently to ensure smoothtraffic flow with the use of RFID devices. Our idea isbased on the principle of RFID tracking of vehicles.An RFID i.e. Radio Frequency Identification systemconsists of two main components, the smalltransponder, more commonly known as a tag, which isattached to the item needing identification (here,vehicles) and the interrogator, or reader, which in somecases is used to both power the tag and read its datawithout contact [2]. The RFID tag consists of all theinformation regarding the item to which it is attachedand this can be wirelessly transmitted to the reader [1].This paper is organized as follows: Section 2describes the most common reasons resulting in trafficcongestion. Section 3 discusses the existingtechnologies available for traffic management and alsoabout their limitations. Section 4 gives a detaileddescription of the scheme proposed through this paperKeywordsTraffic congestion, Traffic detection, Congestionmanagement, Active RFID1. IntroductionRoad congestion is an ever growing problem as thenumber of vehicles is growing exponentially and theroad infrastructure cannot be increased proportionally.This leads to increasing traffic congestion. Trafficcongestion occurs due to high volume of traffic or highvehicle density within a particular stretch of road. AIJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.org2184

International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013and Section 5 concludes the paperwork with a highlighton scope of future work in this area.vary according to the amount of traffic from aparticular direction. Consider the figure below.2. Understanding the Causes of TrafficCongestion on RoadsLet us first start by understanding the factorscontributing to traffic congestion. Traffic congestion isa condition on road networks that occurs as useincreases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longertrip times, and increased vehicular queuing. Thefollowing are a few most commonly observed causes oftraffic congestion:2.1. Spontaneous Slowing Down of VehiclesFigure 2: Illustration of Traffic at a JunctionWe can see the traffic moving from lane (3) to (1) isquite large compared to the traffic on other lanes.Assume at time instant t1, the traffic signal is Red forlane (3). At instant t2, it turns Green and back to Red atinstant t3. Not all vehicles may be able to pass from lane(3) to (1) within this interval. This leads to furtheraccumulation of vehicles due to incoming traffic atroad (3) thus causing congestion. This is one of thedisadvantages of fixed timer programmed trafficsignals.IJERTReal time observations have shown that in heavy butfree flowing traffic, jams can arise spontaneously. Forexample: due to abrupt speeding down of a vehicle.This causes the subsequent vehicles to slow down thus,reducing the capacity of the road at that given time.Congestion can also be attributed to other incidentslike an accident or single car breakdown, poor weatherconditions, road work etc. These incidents being veryrare may not be considered while designing trafficmanagement schemes. The image below illustrates suchan incident.3. Earlier WorkFigure 1: Illustration of Traffic Congestion due toBreakdown of a Vehicle2.2. Traffic Congestion at JunctionsHere, let us consider a four-way junction with asimple traffic signal functioning on a timer for trafficmanagement. Let us assume these roads allowbidirectional traffic flow. The mechanism used tooperate a traffic signal is programmed and does notIJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.orgSeveral technologies have been proposed forcongestion detection such as inductive loop,magnetometer, visual camera, radar etc [4].While inductive loops that can be placed on theroadbed work at all traffic speeds and are effective atestimating traffic speeds, they have a few drawbackslike their maintenance and installation is quite difficult.Apart from this, they are susceptible to high error ratein detection and transmission of traffic information.Conventional traffic signals:The traffic signals that have been programmed areprogrammed with a fixed timer. Hence they do notconsider the volume of the traffic on the street beforetaking a decision of green or red light. Hence if thevolume of traffic is large, it may result in accumulationof traffic on the street and the junctions.Radars have also been widely used for this purpose.Basically radars detect the signals from the movingtraffic and estimate the number of cars crossing it.2185

International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013Figure 2: Illustration of Traffic CongestionDetection on a Straight RoadIJERTFrom this data, approximately the volume of thevehicles on the street can be found out. There is acentral processing unit which gives this data to thetraffic signal which changes the interval of the red andgreen light appropriately [5]. However thedisadvantages of the radar are that they are veryexpensive and also there can be a problem ofinterference with other signals in the atmosphere. Alsoit becomes difficult for the radar to detect the signalsfrom the cars which overlap (as in, are at the sameposition in parallel lanes).Another technology used in this field is amagnetometer. Magnetometer works on the sameprinciple as radar and has almost the samedisadvantages and advantages of radar. The detectionprinciple used by a magnetometer is as that it detectsthe change in the earth’s magnetic field when amagnetic object like a car crosses it.There are many other traffic management systemswhich exist and have their own advantages anddisadvantages. Each system can be very effective insome circumstances and not in others. Hence, eventhough so may systems exist we propose one moresystem which is discussed in the paper which has manyother advantages apart from just traffic management.4. Proposed Congestion Detection andControlSchemeOur scheme ensures the following to control trafficcongestion:i.Smooth traffic flow on roadii.Congestion detection and control at any roadleading to a junctioniii.Priority-based traffic controlLet us consider a stretch of road with readers placedat an interval of every 100 metres (This distancebetween two readers may be varied according to theinformation about volume of traffic passing through aparticular road from statistics obtained throughobservations). Refer the following figure.IJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.orgWhen a vehicle passes reader R1, the active RFID tagof that vehicle sends a beacon frame to R1 [3]. Thisframe consists of all the information regarding thevehicle and also a time stamp of the instant the vehiclepassed the reader. When it crosses that stretch of roadand passes R2, its information along with the timestamp is collected by R2. Reader R2 sends back thisinformation to the preceding reader i.e. R1. From theinformation collected by the two readers, the speed ofthe vehicle is calculated by a Central Processing systemand this information is stored in the database. TheCentral Processing System can be an 8051microcontroller or any other higher processordepending on the location of the road and volume oftraffic passing through it. We have recommended an8051 microcontroller since it has its own internalmemory, simplicity and is programmable to an extentwhich is sufficient of carry out necessary activities fortraffic management [2].Now let us consider another situation where fourroads meet at a junction. Refer the following figure.2186

International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013Figure 3: Illustration of Traffic CongestionDetection at a JunctionFor effective and automatic traffic detection andcongestion control, the Central Processing Systemcarries out the following steps: Since volume of traffic can fluctuate veryrapidly, it is not possible to alter traffic signalsbased only on this factor. So, a minimum timeis set for which traffic signal remains constantbefore checking for the volume of trafficagain. A maximum time is set after which a constanttraffic signal must change irrespective of thevolume of traffic. This is done to ensure novehicle has to wait too long at the crossing. Speed of vehicle is determined by the timetaken for it to cover the distance between tworeaders. If speed of a vehicle is below aspecified threshold, it is detected as congestionand the Central Processing System notifies thepreceding traffic signal about this. Onreceiving such information, traffic on thatcorresponding road is halted for certainduration to avoid congestion on theproceeding road.This step avoidsaccumulation of too many vehicles at any roadleading to a junction. Vehicles assigned higher priority is letimmediately after the duration of Red signal atthe corresponding road ends irrespective of thevolume at other roads.IJERTInformation regarding the vehicles approachingtowards the junctions is collected in the same way as ona straight road, on a junction. The only difference hereis that we place a reader on each of the roads meeting atthe junction as shown in the figure. Readers R1, R2, R3,R4 collect information from the respective roads andtransmits this to the Central Processing System.From the information collected from differentreaders, the Central processing unit calculates thevolume and speed of vehicles on each road. Also, anadded advantage of using an automated Active RFIDsystem for traffic congestion control is that we can setpriority to different types of vehicles depending on thetype of vehicle, for example, an ambulance, fire brigadeor police vehicle. By setting such priority, the timethese vehicles may have to wait at a signal can beminimised or traffic at other roads meeting at a junctioncan be halted for a few seconds letting these highpriority vehicles pass. Priority can also be assignedaccording to the time of the day, for example, containervehicles are assigned higher priority after midnight on ahighway.The basic architecture of this system is shown below:Figure 4: Basic Architecture of ProposedTraffic Management System using ActiveRFIDThis working can be explained by the followingflowchart. In figure 3, we see four roads meeting at ajunction. Let the volume at roads 1, 2, 3 and 4 be V1,V2, V3 and V4 respectively.CN is the count of thenumber of times Green signal is given to road numberIJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.org2187

International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013IJERTN, where N is the road number from 1 to 4. This counthas been assigned in order to ensure that no vehicle hasto wait for too long at the traffic. We increment eachCN each time the traffic is allowed to pass through roadN to ensure that vehicles on a single road are notallowed to pass consecutively more than a certainnumber of times. After CN reaches it maximum value(here, three), the signal at that road turns Redirrespective of the volume of traffic there. TN is theminimum duration for which a vehicle has to wait atthe crossing i.e. the duration for which the traffic signalremains Red.Let us understand the working of this system usingthe flowchart shown alongside and Figure 3. As we cansee in the figure 3, road no.3 is the road with maximumvolume of traffic. Let us say the volume is V3. We haveinitial values as CN 1 and TN 10 seconds. The CentralProcessing System first checks if any vehicle on anyroad has been assigned high priority. Let us assume,here no vehicle has been assigned high priority. Nextwe check for the road with maximum number ofvehicles. Here, it is road 3. Note that, if both the aboveconditions are not applicable i.e. there is no vehicleassigned high priority and the volumes on all roadsmeeting at the junction are equal, then by default,traffic at road 1 will be allowed to pass. Since here,road 3 has maximum volume of traffic, we allowvehicles on that road to pass for 10 seconds. The countfor that road i.e. C3 is incremented. Now, this entirecycle repeats. The maximum number of times vehicleson one particular road are consecutively allowed topass as per our scheme is three. After that, the valuesare re-initialised.Figure 5: Flowchart explaining the Workingof Traffic Congestion Detection and Controlusing RFID SystemIJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.org2188

International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology (IJERT)ISSN: 2278-0181Vol. 2 Issue 10, October - 2013Apart from congestion control, this scheme has thefollowing advantages: Traffic signals are fully automated andoperated according to the current volume oftraffic. Differential priorities can be assigned tovehicles like ambulances, fire brigade. Reportedly stolen vehicles, or vehicles bookedfor offence can be tracked. Reliable traffic data can be generated forstatistical purposes [4]. This technique can be used to avoid accidentsthat may occur on highways where sirens canbe used to indicate an accident ahead.Publishing Inc., Second edition[3] Bill Christensen, (2008, May 23).Electronic Number Plate keeps tabs on .com/ct/Science-FictionNews.asp?NewsNum 195[4] (2008, May 23). TagmasterAutomatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) for control/tagmaster[5] Alan Benksy, “Short-range Wireless Communication”,Communications Engineering Series, by Newnes,Elsevier Inc., 2nd edition.5. ConclusionIJERTAnother feature of this system is that it can functioneven in case where a reader in any path fails. In suchcases, when the other reader in that path tracks avehicle, the Central Processing System checks whetherit has just crossed the readers in other paths convergingat the junction or not. From this, the direction of traveland other information such as speed can be obtained.We have devised a method for creating a system forcontrolling road traffic. Our system is based on theprinciple of using the RFID technology to track thevehicles and using the data obtained from that tocontrol and manage the traffic. The advantages of ourmethod have been clearly mentioned in the paper.Though there are many existing methods used tomanage the traffic and many more which are currentlybeing devised, this field of study will always have afuture scope because of the continuous increase in thenumber of cars being driven on the street and theuncertainty of events that can cause traffic. Also, thissystem may be employed in traffic management ofother modes of transport like Indian railway systemwhere trains travel at an interval of every 3 minutes toincrease the efficiency of the system. The proposedscheme is a very basic system for employing ActiveRFID devices for traffic congestion detection andcontrol and further enhancements can be made to makeit more suitable and viable.6. References[1] Patrick J.Sweeny II, “RFID for Dummies”, by WileyPublishing Inc.[2] Klaus Finkenzeller, “RFID Handbook”, by WileyIJERTV2IS100652www.ijert.org2189

from RFID devices. Keywords . Traffic congestion, Traffic detection, Congestion management, Active RFID . 1. Introduction . Road congestion is an ever growing problem as the number of vehicles is growing expo. nentially and the road infrastructure cannot be increased proportionally. This leads to increasing traffic congestion. Traffic

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