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Wireless sensor networks offer an attractive choice for low- cost and easy-to-deploy solutions for intelligent traffic guidance systems and parking lot applications. In this paper, we propose the use of a combination of magnetic and ultrasonic sensors for accurate and reliable detection of vehicles in a parking lot. We describe a modified version of the min-max algorithm for detection of vehicles using magnetometers, and also an algorithm for ultrasonic sensors. Through extensive real world experiments conducted in a multi-storied university parking space we compare the pros and cons of using different sensing modalities, and show that ultrasonic sensors along with magnetometers is an excellent choice for accurate vehicle detections. We demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed approach by conducting an elaborate car counting experiment lasting over a day, and show promising results using these two sensing modalities.
Date of Conference: 19-23 May 2008