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Road traffic density estimation provides important information for road planning, intelligent road routing, road traffic control, vehicular network traffic scheduling, routing and dissemination. The ever increasing number of vehicles equipped with wireless communication capabilities provide new means to estimate the road traffic density more accurately and in real time than traditionally used techniques. In this paper, the authors consider the problem of road traffic density estimation where each vehicle estimates its local road traffic density using some simple measurements only, i.e. the number of neighboring vehicles. A maximum likelihood estimator of the traffic density is obtained based on a rigorous analysis of the joint distribution of the number of vehicles in each hop.
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