Evaluation of Ultra-Wideband Radio for Improved Pedestrian Safety at Signalized Intersections
Frenzel, James F.
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As America’s population continues to age, the number of pedestrians with mobility or vision disabilities will increase. The focus of this project was to evaluate ultra-wideband (UWB) radio signaling for the purpose of tracking individuals as they cross an intersection. Working with products from DecaWave, we conducted multiple tests on a test course. Under ideal conditions we were able to achieve a positioning accuracy of approximately +/- 15 cm, not quite as good as the +/- 10-cm accuracy reported by the manufacturer. One possible explanation is the generic antennas supplied with the development kits and, in particular, their proximity to the human body and earth ground. Both cases resulted in signal absorption, leading to degradation in positioning accuracy. Future work would involve the development of antennas tuned to the application and less susceptible to signal loss. If that work was successful, additional software development would be required to exchange positioning information between the pedestrian “tag” and a traffic controller via UWB.