Use of bluetooth technology for traffic analyses in urban road networks

Yücel, Şule
Bluetooth technology is a cheap and easy data collection method for traffic studies. It enables tracking of movements via detection of MAC addresses, unique to each Bluetooth device, without actually seeking any personal information. It is successfully used in traffic management in limited access corridors such as highway corridors. However, its potential in urban networks has to be evaluated to see the limitations, since it is more challenging in open networks, which is the main goal of this study. Within the scope of this study, we developed three case studies including; - travel time/speed estimation along corridors - Origin-Destination (OD) matrix estimation - assessment of impact of electronic speed enforcement (ESE) in Ankara urban layout using Bluetooth data from concurrently activated multiple Bluetooth readers. The results showed that many MAC addresses were observed at one place at one time without being observed at another observation location, as expected from the open network nature of an urban region. MAC-to-volume values suggested a penetration rate up to 10% for Bluetooth enabled devices in Ankara traffic. Travel time estimation for an urban corridor was very effective using Bluetooth data, in despite the small number of MAC matching. Moreover, Bluetooth data enables the realization of the expected speeding behavior before and after an ESE. Drivers before the ESE system location obeyed the speed limits, while they increased their speeds immediately after the ESE point. These results support the fact that ESE is a powerful way of forcing speed limit; however, it is not easy to assess their impact on increasing traffic safety. On the other hand, OD estimation for an open network is not reliable due to i) the currently low penetration rate of Bluetooth and ii) limited number of Bluetooth readers used. OD estimation process would benefit more from repeated data collection and verification via other data sources.


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Citation Formats
Ş. Yücel, “Use of bluetooth technology for traffic analyses in urban road networks,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.