Estimation of the vehicle speed using cross-correlation algorithms and mems wireless sensors

Cheng Zhang, Shihui Shen, Hai Huang, Linbing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Traffic information is critical for pavement design, management, and health monitoring. Numerous in-pavement sensors have been developed and installed to collect the traffic volume and loading amplitude. However, limited attention has been paid to the algorithm of vehicle speed estimation. This research focuses on the estimation of the vehicle speed based on a cross-correlation method. A novel wireless micro-electromechanical sensor (MEMS), Smartrock is used to capture the triaxial acceleration, rotation, and stress data. The cross-correlation algorithms, i.e., normalized cross-correlation (NCC) algorithm, the smoothed coherence transform (SCOT) algorithm, and the phase transform (PHAT) algorithm, are applied to estimate the loading speed of an accelerated pavement test (APT) and the traffic speed in the field. The signal-noise-ratio (SNR) and the mean relative error (MRE) are utilized to evaluate the stability and accuracy of the algorithms. The results show that both the correlated noise and independent noise have significant influence in the field data. The SCOT algorithm is recommended for speed estimation with reasonable accuracy and stability because of a large SNR value and the lowest MRE value among the algorithms. The loading speed investigated in this study was within 50 km/h and further verification is needed for higher speed estimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1721
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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