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Innovative trial system using a fleet of 'tracer' vehicles to detect congestion


In road traffic management, the provision of up-to-date, accurate and detailed quantitative information on traffic movement is essential. Road Traffic Monitoring by Satellite (RTMS) is a satellite application, which monitors a small population of the traffic with on-board equipment. This fleet flows with the traffic, records traffic speeds, detects congestion and reports this via the satellite to a central system. The objective of the project is to design such a system, to implement it on a limited scale and to practically demonstrate the concept's viability in a field trial.

In order to make a system economically feasible, the functionality of gathering traffic information can be combined with a myriad of other services, such as route guidance, location based services, emergency services, vehicle tracking and tracing.


The traffic monitoring system consists of mobile systems, mounted in cars or trucks, and a central server. The system was designed using existing satellite communication equipment. The in-car part consists of a GPS receiver, software and a two-way satellite communication system. The software matches the vehicle positions on a road map, determines the driving speed for each road segment, and detects traffic events. The central part consists of the satellite communication part and a communication manager, which manages the fleet.


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