Hey Guys & Girls,


So my idea got picked and my first train of thought was “YES I got picked now I get to actually build it” My second thought was “Oh… now I have to build it” So in the following blogs you will get to follow my failures (there will be many) and successes.

I had thought about what way to do the blogs, I personally prefer to watch/listen to a video rather than read a long post, but I know many more people would rather read. So wherever possible I am going to do both.

The video below will be saying the same information as the test with only a few exceptions, which I will endeavour point out.




The Idea

First a quick recap on my idea, for the full thing check out the idea post  https://www.element14.com/community/roadTestApps/27108/l/iot-on-wheels-design-challenge-smart-road so my plan is to make the roads safer for all users by giving them more information about the road ahead of them so that they can adjust accordingly, the main information I would be collecting will be:

  • Temperature;
  • Water level (is the road flooded); and
  • Average speed of vehicles.

This Information will then be broadcast to vehicles on that road.


The Transmitter

The collection of this information will be accomplished (at least in this version) by placing a small box at regular intervals on the road, maybe even contained within junction boxes which already line most roads from there they will collect the information and broadcast it to the second part of the system.  The box will have various sensors and transmitters within it in order collect the information and will have to be as weather proof as possible (as much as I can make with equipment I have to hand)


The Receiver

In the vehicle there will be a small receiver which will be able to be mounted either like a sat nav or put in the middle well this will have either a display or lights to denote the condition of the road ahead.

My original Idea was to have a LCD display that way I could give clearer information about the road but having thought about it, I think that will be more of a distraction as the user will have to look and read the display which takes their focus off the road. With this in mind I think a lights system (or a combination of lights and LED) to indicate at a glance what may be up ahead i.e:

  1. Blue Light = Frozen
  2. Yellow Light = Flooded
  3. Red Light = traffic slow

If anyone has any ideas on this, please let me know I would be happy to get some feedback.

The Kit

My Kit has arrived and I can take stock of what I have let myself in for, I believe I will be able to use pretty much all of the kit but I will need a few extra bits Including:


  • GPS module;
  • Raspberry Pi;
  • Battery’s; and
  • Case.



For the raspberry Pi Ideally I will use a Pi Zero, but on hand I have a Pi3 and an old Pi B+, I may start using these and upgrade to a Zero as and when.

Batteries I am still unsure about I may have some solar panels to help trickle charge the Transmitters so that the battery within will not need replaced as often (or ever), I am hoping to have the receiver unit battery powered but with a connecter to allow it to be powered from a car 12v supply.

Last, but certainly not least the case. I would ideally want to make 3d printed cases for both but I do not have access to a 3d printer so for testing I may throw a case together with wood and once everything is working as expected I may go to metal.

Having said that If there are any good Samaritans out there with a 3d printer that would be willing to print If I supplied 3d models I would be happy to pay to cover the material and any shipping.


That’s It for now, if you have any queries or advice let me know