A new way to collect transportation data

A new way to collect transportation data

A new way to collect transportation data


“How can we create a low-cost mobility measurement system?”
Many developing countries have a problem. Data regarding the usage of vehicles needs to be extrapolated in order to create more accurate transportation policies. The current method to obtain such measurements is to use an array of road sensors to track vehicle speeds, whose components cost an average of 10,000 USD per device and maintenance can go up to 4,000 USD per year per device. It goes without saying that this system can be insurmountably expensive for lower-income countries. So how can we use our engineering mindset to create a new, more affordable paradigm for transportation data collection? Well, a group of intrepid researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have published a paper regarding such a method. After much analysis, they realized that even though many developing countries such as India may not have the highest quality road infrastructure, they do have a fairly robust mobile communication infrastructure. And what everyday technology uses such infrastructure to transmit data? Why, smartphones of course! So what if we were to use citizen’s smartphones to collect driving data (at their own discretion of course) to create accurate information for policy makers? This is the operating idea behind the research done by the international transportation group at Berkeley lab, and it has the possibility of causing a paradigm shift in transportation analysis

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