Evaluation of Cell Phone Traffic Data

Principal Investigator(s):

Henry Liu, Former Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Cellular phone tracking is a promising vehicle probe method that is likely to produce reliable travel-time information. To demonstrate the capabilities of a cell phone traffic data system, a pilot demonstration project was initiated by Mn/DOT in cooperation with a private contractor. As part of the demonstration project, traffic data provided by the contractor through cell phone tracking were evaluated and compared with data from alternative sources. The alternative travel-time data collected in the evaluation study included the freeway travel times generated using inductive loop detectors, travel-time runs using instrumented probe vehicles, and "ground truth" travel times determined by matching license plates through recorded video. A statistical data comparison and analysis was conducted, and results are summarized in the final report, published in vol. 2086 of the Transportation Research Record: http://trb.metapress.com/content/hv203u081g0036q3/.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2007022
  • Start date: 03/2007
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Data and modeling