Field Experiments on Bluetooth-Based Travel Time Data Collection

Recently, a new Bluetooth-based travel time data collection approach has been gaining momentum in the transportation research community. This approach relies on identifying and matching the median access control (MAC) address of each Bluetooth device carried by bypassing vehicles for travel time data collection. Although there have been several studies documenting such data collection techniques, little research has been done regarding the inherent error rate of these devices. Furthermore, the use of multiple devices in tandem to improve results has not been fully investigated. This paper compares Bluetooth MAC address-based travel-time sensors developed by the authors with standard automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) devices commonly used for travel time data collection. Two types of antennae, omni-directional and directional, were tested to determine the effects of antenna selection on travel time data collection. Omni-directional sensors were found to have a larger detection zone than the directional sensors and are subject to more noise and bigger spatial errors, as a vehicle may be detected anywhere within the zone. Meanwhile, a larger detection zone also corresponds to a bigger sample size. Our test results indicate that although the Bluetooth sensors tended to be biased towards slower vehicles, the travel time measurements obtained were representative of the ground truth travel-time data measured by the ALPRs. There is great potential to apply this approach for cost-effective travel time data collection.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01152556
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3134
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:33AM