System and Method of Securing Vehicle-Pavement Interaction (Tago)

The Need

Road safety is a paramount concern. Unpredictable road conditions, such as bumps and uneven surfaces, can pose significant risks to drivers. There is a pressing need for a technology that can sense and alert drivers about these road surface conditions in real-time, enhancing safety and improving the driving experience.

The Technology

Dr. Kannan Athreya, along with a team of researchers at The Ohio State University, has developed a new system for detecting and improving road-to-vehicle interatctions. This invention, called "Tago," is an innovative system that leverages commodity-grade passive RFID technology to sense road surface conditions for safer driving. It employs an RFID reader in the vehicle and attaches RFID tags at the front end of the vehicle for contact-free sensing. Tago uses a window-sized signal cancellation approach to obtain weak reflections from the road surface, effectively cancelling out reflections from other objects. It also mitigates hardware imperfections through one-time calibration and deploys two tags on the vehicle to detect randomly distributed bumps on the road surface.

Commercial Applications

  • Automotive Industry: Tago can be integrated into new vehicles or offered as an add-on feature for existing vehicles.
  • Fleet Management: Companies managing large fleets of vehicles can use Tago to monitor road conditions and ensure driver safety.
  • Smart City Infrastructure: Tago can contribute to smart city initiatives by providing data on road conditions, aiding in maintenance and planning.


  • Enhanced Safety: By providing real-time information about road conditions, Tago helps drivers navigate safely.
  • Cost-Effective: Tago uses commodity passive RFID tags, making it a cost-effective solution compared to other sensing technologies.
  • Easy Integration: Tago can be easily integrated into existing vehicle systems or used as a standalone device.
  • Contact-Free Sensing: Tago’s contact-free sensing reduces wear and tear on the vehicle.
  • Data Collection: Tago can collect valuable data on road conditions over time, which can be used for infrastructure planning and maintenance.

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