Assessing Environmental Impact of Transport Noise with Wireless Sensor Networks

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - environmental impact, ridership - commuting, policy - environment, economics - benefits, place - cbd, mode - bus, mode - rail


Wireless sensor networks, Wheel rail interaction, Trucks, Truck traffic, Traffic restrictions, Traffic noise, Tire/pavement noise, Tire pavement interface, Tire noise, Socioeconomic factors, Socioeconomic aspects, Rolling contact, Road freight vehicles, Remote sensors, Remote sensing, Remote detectors, Regulatory policy, Policy, Policies, Pavement noise, Noise reduction, Noise pollution, Noise control, Noise abatement, Noise, Motor vehicle noise, Lorries, Highway noise, Heavy goods vehicles, Government policy, Environmental impact analysis, Dublin (Ireland), Downtowns, City centers, Central business districts, Cargo vehicles, Benefits


Noise pollution from transportation systems devalues the environment and carries with it substantial social and economic costs. New legislation aims to reduce the impact of transport noise. This study outlines how wireless sensor networks can be used to assess accurately the socio economic benefits of noise mitigation policies. Various economic methods of estimating the disamenity of noise are explored. Current practices for predicting the benefits of noise reduction strategies are examined, and the need for a long-term monitoring solution within the current system is observed. Sensor network with delay tolerance (SeNDT) units are presented as a wireless sensor networking device capable of monitoring environmental noise levels. Preliminary results from the SeNDT pilot study deployments are presented. These readings are used to estimate both the personally perceived and monetary gains resulting from the implementation of a new traffic policy that bans heavy goods vehicles in the city center of Dublin, Ireland. Initial calculations indicate that the ban will reduce the number of people annoyed by road traffic noise by approximately 8% and constitute a monetary saving of €77.50 ($105) per household in the area per year.