Activating Wireless Voice for E-Toll Collection Systems with Zero Start-up Cost

Zhenlin An, Qiongzheng Lin, Lei Yang, Xie Lei

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This work enhances the machine-to-human communication between electronic toll collection (ETC) systems and drivers by providing an AM broadcast service to deployed ETC systems. This study is the first to show that ultra-high radio frequency identification signals can be received by an AM radio receiver due to the presence of the nonlinearity effect in the AM receiver. Such a phenomenon allows the development of a previously infeasible cross-technology and cross-frequency communication, called Tagcaster, which converts an ETC reader to an AM station for broadcasting short messages (e.g., charged- fees and traffic forecast) to drivers at tollbooths. The key innovation in this work is the engineering of Tagcaster over off-the-shelf ETC systems using shadow carrier and baseband whitening without the need for hardware nor firmware changes. This feature allows zero-cost rapid deployment in existing ETC infrastructure. Two prototypes of Tagcaster are designed, implemented and evaluated over four general and five vehicle-mounted AM receivers (e.g., Toyota, Audi, and Jetta). Experiments reveal that Tagcaster can provide good-quality (PESQ> 2) and stable AM broadcasting service with a @30 m coverage range. Tagcaster remarkably improves user experience at ETC stations and two- thirds volunteer drivers rate it with a score of 4+ out of 5.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2020 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728164120
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Event38th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2020 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 6 Jul 20209 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Conference38th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2020


  • Cross Technology Communication
  • Internet of Things
  • RFID

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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