Computation and


Structures Group

TrafficDot Firmware Development and Power Analysis


Traffic Calming is a major aspect being studied in today's growing cities. The performance and efficiency of road layouts directly affect safety of drivers and the quality of life of the surrounding communities. Existing traffic monitoring solutions however, are either costly in terms of infrastructure and installation (inductive loops and pneumatic tubes) or privacy and placement sensitive (vision-based).

A low-cost, low-power alternative is to use MEMS-based magnetic field sensor that can easily be installed in pavement markers, aka "TrafficDot". Previous work have enabled identification and counting of vehicles as they passed over the device and transmitted this information over LoRaWAN. In this study, we will fully develop the firmware of the TrafficDot integrating the various onboard sensors and optimizing the overall power consumption of the device, targeting a life-span of 6 months on a single primary cell battery.

This study is conducted in collaboration with the City of Palo Alto to provide invaluable analytic data on their road networks. The developed algorithms will be deployed in low power, wireless embedded systems as part of a long term study to evaluate their efforts in improving the city's way of life.

Desired Outcomes for Semester

  • Production ready firmware for TrafficDot v1.0
  • Device energy budget and power analysis of firmware
  • Integrated remote device monitoring and analytics over LoRaWAN
  • Deployment and support of TrafficDots in the City of Palo Alto


  • Must have taken 18-647, 18-747 or equivalent
  • Experience in C/C++
  • Experience working with the following is a plus:
    • ESP-32 or PowerDue
    • FreeRTOS
  • Test-driven development
  • Version Control using Git


Send an email with your resume to: