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International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 762503, 7 pages
Research Article

Pervasive Urban Sensing with Large-Scale Mobile Probe Vehicles

1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2Shanghai Key Laboratory of Scalable Computing and Systems, Shanghai 200240, China
3HP Labs, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

Received 26 October 2012; Accepted 9 January 2013

Academic Editor: Yan Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Yanmin Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the advance of embedded sensing devices, Pervasive Urban Sensing (PUS) with probe vehicles is becoming increasingly practical. A probe vehicle is equipped with onboard sensing devices that detect urban information as the probe vehicle drive across the road network. For example, GPS sensors can detect real-time vehicle status including instant speed and physical position. PUS can provide the general public valuable urban sensing information, such as frequently updated digital maps, and real-time traffic light states. In this paper, we first present the framework of Pervasive Urban Sensing with probe vehicles. Next, we present two cases of urban sensing with probe vehicles. As case one, we discuss the design of a sensing algorithm for detecting the instant state of traffic lights. As case two, we discuss the design of sensing algorithms for recognizing roads by using the vehicular footprints. Some preliminary results of these two cases of urban sensing are presented and discussed.