The Autonomous Monitoring Station (AMS) concept is based on the use of a general-purpose controller to support multiple ITS field components. The primary goal of this project was to demonstrate the feasibility of using low-cost wireless communications and solar power to deploy autonomous road monitoring stations in remote sites.
Three sites were equipped and monitored along Highway 21 in southwestern Ontario during winter 2005-06. Visibility sensors and vehicle detectors collected visibility levels and traffic conditions (volume and speed) and summarized data every fifteen minutes. When visibility deteriorated below a predefined threshold, video images were collected and transmitted to the central database server for comparison to field observations.
The system developed and tested proved to be reliable and cost effective to support road operators in rural areas. Further AMS system research and development was recommended, including providing more automated alerts in poor visibility conditions and improving the user interface for operational use.