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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.
Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Event News
24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
24.06.2019 | Life Sciences