Companies from the U.S. and Japan have developed for the first time a new fiber optic sensing technology that allows delivering traffic-related data to smart cities without tearing up streets. To be more precise, in smart cities connected intersections and traffic fiber optic sensors play a crucial role in the whole infrastructure.
Thus, the combination of intersections with fiber sensors may greatly affect improving traffic flows resulting in congestion and pollution reduction, finally, improving life quality, resident safety and raising economic activity and productivity. Additionally, these fiber optic sensors may promote pedestrian safety and save lives in different cities.
It should be noted that data information on traffic patterns and road congestions required to make the best application of such fiber sensing systems. Fiber optic technology makes it possible to get the data without physical inspections, putting in new infrastructure or tearing up streets.
The concept has been already tested and demonstrated the opportunity to apply network infrastructure with existing fiber optic cables already installed in the ground as distributed optical sensors to compile data on city traffic patterns, road conditions, road capacity, and vehicle classification information.
Nowadays it is planned to enlarge tests of the fiber optic sensing technology and to decide how it can be employed in smart cities. The main purpose of technology is regarded as to enable “existing optical fiber providers to deliver smart city traffic-related data without tearing up roads or sidewalks”
The manufacturers apply new fiber optic technology and combine fiber sensors with artificial intelligence-based software to provide “intelligent traffic monitoring including the sensing of vehicle density, direction, speed, acceleration, deceleration and more”. The thing is that until recently it was required to install purpose-built optical fiber in very shallow spaces in the ground with fiber Bragg grating at predetermined intervals to collect and analyze this type of data information.
Today the proposed fiber optic solution suggests utilizing optical fibers already in the ground. The representatives of the companies confirm that these fiber optic sensors may lead or improve various public functions, for example, they allow first responders to identify and respond to gunshots as well as increasing municipalities’ capability to more quickly and efficiently detect earlier deterioration of bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructure.
Application of a single FBG interrogator in the distributed multi-parameter fiber optic sensor system estimated different characteristics of back-scattering light, which can be utilized to determine the static strain, dynamic strain, acoustics, vibrations and temperatures for each optical fiber segment.
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