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Traffic Surveys

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Bluetooth Traffic Surveys

Streetwise Traffic Counts
Bluetooth is an exciting technology that has multiple applications within the traffic and transportation data sphere. It can be used for providing wide area origin-destination (O-D) surveys, pedestrian / passenger origin-destination / routing surveys, car park duration profiles, and journey time surveys.

The technology works through roadside units collecting the encoded MAC addresses of passing Bluetooth enabled devices (phones, earpieces, hands free kits, etc) and storing this data for subsequent matching. The units are able to record for a period of over one week at the roadside, and the data can be remotely accessed via internet to enable processing to be run in parallel with data collection. With complex algorithms removing multiple hits which represent likely same vehicle an overall origin-destination matrix can be built for a reasonably high (perhaps 20-40% typically) sample of vehicles. Combined with the scalability of the technology, the duration that can be achieved with ease, and the rapid provision of analysed results, this makes for a very attractive alternative to ANPR or roadside interviews to get an overall impression of O-D movements.

This same principle can be applied to wide pedestrian networks, for example public transport hubs and interchanges to provide information on movements that have typically been very difficult to capture. Although the sample rate for pedestrians is likely to be much lower with fewer utilising hands free systems, achieving even a 10% sample of origin-destination movements at a major PT hub with multiple tens of thousands of users every day represents a significant breakthrough compared to previous methods of attempting to capture this information manually on site.

Perhaps the most attractive application for Bluetooth monitoring is the ability to provide a very high (compared to traditional methods) sample rate of journey times to enable very accurate delay / congestion reports to be collated for traffic corridors. Major schemes have in the past been appraised on data gathered from as little as 6 – 10 replicated journey times by ‘floating vehicle’ method – many thousands of records could now be gathered from a handful of strategically located Bluetooth detectors, whilst also avoiding the need to further increase congestion and emissions through undertaking surveyed journey time runs.

Our team has experience of many aspects of Bluetooth data collection and would be delighted to assist in planning a suitable solution for your data requirements.

Related Services

Traffic Counts
Robust, cost-effective, and user-friendly traffic flow data.

Origin - Destination Studies
Understanding traffic movements across a wide area.

Journey Time Surveys
Calibrates micro-simulation models such as Paramics.

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Related Case Study

- Knock Road, Belfast

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