TranStar Traffic Uses Bluetooth for Real-Time Monitoring

by Matt Ball on August 22, 2011

The TranStar traffic monitoring center in Houston is a consortium of four government agencies that provide transportation and emergency management services to the greater Houston region. TranStar has implemented a new low-cost traffic monitoring system that tracks the MAC address of bluetooth-enabled devices to obtain real-time traffic information. The system uses a technique called Anonymous Wireless Address Matching (AWAM) to identify individual MAC addresses of Bluetooth-enabled devices, and tracks the passing of the devices past sensors to judge the speed between two points.

Since no details other than the MAC address are tracked, it doesn’t tie the device back to an individual. In addition, turning of the ability for your Bluetooth device to be discovered by networks protects those that would rather not participate.

The benefit of this new system is that it’s much cheaper than Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) technology and easy to install and maintain.

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