SignalGuru: Crowdsourcing with Smartphone Cameras
Written by Emmanouil Koukoumidis on September 4, 2012.
Ubiquitous smartphones are increasingly becoming the dominant platform for collaborative sensing. Smartphones, with their ever richer set of sensors, are being used to enable collaborative driver-assistance services like traffic advisory and road condition monitoring. To enable such services, the smartphones’ GPS, accelerometer and gyro sensors have been widely used. On the contrary, smartphone cameras, despite being very powerful sensors, have largely been neglected. In this paper, we introduce a collaborative sensing platform that exploits the cameras of windshield-mounted smartphones.
To demonstrate the potential of this platform, we propose several services that it can support, and prototype SignalGuru, a novel service that leverages windshield-mounted smartphones and their cameras to collaboratively detect and predict the schedule of traffic signals, enabling Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) and other novel applications. Results from two deployments of SignalGuru, using iPhones in cars in Cambridge (MA, USA) and Singapore, show that traffic signal schedules can be predicted accurately. On average, SignalGuru comes within 0.66s, for pre-timed traffic signals and within 2.45s, for traffic-adaptive traffic signals. Feeding SignalGuru’s predicted traffic schedule to our GLOSA application, our vehicle fuel consumption measurements show savings of 20.3%, on average.