Error Assessment of Traffic Data Devices

PI: Edward McCormack (UW)
Co-Investigators: Yinhai Wang (UW)
Dates: 05/16/2012 – 05/15/2013
Final Project Report: PacTrans-18-UW-McCormack

The ability to produce reliable and accurate travel time or space mean speed information is becoming increasingly important in the Pacific Northwest region. New capabilities to relay traveler information to motorists through smart devices and in-vehicle systems is making such information more useful. Such travel time information is also important in determining construction delays, as well as for the purposes of signal timing and supporting congestion relief efforts.

A number of technologies are available to address travel time monitoring, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, very few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of travel time sensors side by side; therefore, it is often unclear which approach should be used for a particular application.

This project will provide such an evaluation of those technologies by using instrumented corridors managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). For the project we will perform a systematic comparison of the available technologies; this will be a matter of selecting the appropriate metrics, pulling the data from the various sources, and then performing an error analysis.