Estimating vehicle speed with embedded inertial sensors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Pavements were instrumented with inertial sensors, and the possibility of estimating the speed of a passing vehicle was investigated numerically and experimentally from the measurements of two embedded accelerometers. The sensors were spaced apart in the travel direction, and subsequently the speed was directly related to the time delay between the received signals. No assumption was made regarding the vehicle and pavement properties. Model accelerations were presented, studied, and contrasted against field measurements; the latter were shown to be dominated by random vibration sources. Two calculation techniques were offered and applied to handle the noisy data. The first was based on time-centroids, and the second was based on cross-correlation with kernel presmoothing. The overall concept is deemed promising not only for inferring speeds but also for extracting additional traffic characteristics such as axle spacing and relative axle load distributions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransportation Research. Part C: Emerging Technologies
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Inertial sensor
  • Pavement accelerations
  • Vehicle speed
  • Time-delay estimation


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