The method envisioned by engineers at the Indiana Department of Transportation represents a potentially low-cost leap in technology to provide information for everything from the speed of the morning commute to the sluggishness of airport security lines.
"This is incredibly valuable information that could be used for many purposes, including better traffic signal timing and management of construction work zones to reduce congestion, as well as real-time traffic information for motorists," said Darcy Bullock, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University. "Now we have a way to measure how slow traffic is on a given stretch of road or how long it's taking people to get through airport security at a given concourse and time of day."
Bullock is developing the method with Jason S. Wasson and James R. Sturdevant, engineers from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
"We came up with the idea at INDOT and developed the prototype this year from off-the-shelf hardware," Wasson said.
The method picks up the identifying "addresses" from Bluetooth devices in consumer electronics. Because each device has its own distinct digital signature, its travel time can be tracked by detectors installed at intersections or along highways and other locations.
Travelers could access the travel-time information using the same portable electronic devices that make the system possible.
"Information is a commodity people are aggressively seeking, and this method promises to cost effectively provide information that has never been widely available to travelers," Bullock said.
Research findings will be detailed in a paper appearing in the June issue of the ITE Journal, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The paper was written by Wasson, Sturdevant and Bullock.
Bluetooth technology connects and exchanges information for cell phone hands-free headsets, wireless keyboards, Internet access for personal digital assistants, and wireless networks for laptops and personal computers. The new travel-time estimation procedures detect and record "media access control," or MAC identification signals, every time a Bluetooth device passes a detector.
"It gives you quantitative 24-hour feedback on traffic flow, information we can use for design and operation decisions," Wasson said. "Agencies need quantitative data so they can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and how well design changes are working."
Data from such a system would provide not only information about short-term factors such as congestion from construction work zones, but also long-term trends requiring design changes, Sturdevant said.
The researchers tested the method on sections of Interstate 65, Interstate 465 and roads in and around Indianapolis, tracking 1.2 percent of the average daily traffic on specific routes.
"That's important because it means basically every hundredth vehicle is tracked, so the travel-time information is accurate and updated," Bullock said. "With improved antenna mounting we expect to do even better."
Pedestrian walking speeds also could be tracked to learn how long it takes people to negotiate airports and other facilities.
Future work may involve expanding the research to additional sections of roadways. The researchers have filed a patent on the method, and the basic technology is available commercially to create the tracking system, Bullock said.Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, email@example.com
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
From parking garage to smart multi-purpose garage
19.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research