Widespread use of smartphones proposes an opportunity to transportation professionals trying to understand when and why people travel and if travel patterns change over time.
Nowadays, more and more agencies are developing Transportation Data Management Systems (TDMS) as web-based software that deliver transportation related information from interviews and surveys collected over time. However, TDMS are based on historical data that eventually become outdated, not to mention the disconnection between TDMS and live feeds of people’s movements on daily basis.
In the best of cases, activity-based travel demand models are developed for a given day during which the travel diary had been implemented. Although such day gets balanced to become the average day, it fails to represent abnormal circumstances and thus fails to support planning for such circumstances.
A mobile application for iOS and Android devices working in a cooperative environment that captures people’s movements and deploy quick surveys on a significantly large and well balanced proportion of individuals has the potential to supply a live feed of data for transportation purposes, including:
- Road Inventory: road characteristics including lanes, speed, capacity.
- Automated Traffic Counts: Operational Speed, Traffic Volume at time of day, vehicle classification
- Manual Classified Counts: vehicle classification, and volume
- Turning Movement Counts: turning movements volume and classification
- Household Interview: socio demographic and travel diary. By asking people to complete short travel diaries throughout the year.
- Pedestrian Surveys: factors, perceptions and habits related to walk
- Speed Surveys: operational speeds and speed profiles.
- Travel Time and Delays: travel time index, and other measures of congestion.
- Stated Preferences Survey: Through Games, attitudes towards use of future means of travel.
- Public Transport, On-board Surveys: buses usage, convenience, but expandable to cover the MRT and to capture travel time and comfort.
- Parking Interview Surveys: perceptions of paid parking, search time, willingness to use alternatives.
- Hotel Visitor Surveys: means of travel while in Qatar, travel frequency.
- Airport Passenger Surveys: Destination/Origin in Qatar, Demographic/ Socioeconomic Profile. This can serve to distinguish the people arriving, their country of origin, length of stay, and intended Local Modes of Transport.
- Border Crossing Intercept Surveys (done through Seaport arrivals).
- Accidents Data (if available): From road users reporting damaged Infrastructure (Guardrails, Barriers, broken Signs and Poles, etc. This can then be used to produce Hotspots and Heatmaps.
- Sidewalk and Bike Paths Inventory: To provide information of average speed and most popular routes, which can then be used to deploy Pedestrian Evaluation System and further Landscaping Enhancements.
- Waterways Path Inventory: This information depends on availability.
- Rail/Bus Routes Inventory: This information is fixed and displayed only for the users' convenience.
- Survey Plans and Schedules: This information is generated from Scheduling of Surveys within the TDMS and can be used to alert users of upcoming surveys linked to Modelling Needs. For this reason, Integrated Modules allow the constant capture of information to update data for Travel Demand Modelling.
A Dashboard Mobile Solution could display key Performance Indicators, based on the data collected by the various modules presented before.
The GPS signature of the mobile device can be used to identify the location of the user, the current TAZ, the nearest Traffic Counts Surveys, and the adjacent Street Peak Hours based on the nearest Counts.
The administrator will have access to visualize the number of users who have downloaded the application, who are using the application, their Geographical Location, Demographic Information and all other associated data entered through the proposed modules in order to create samples and deploy random surveys with economic incentives.
If you are interested in developing this type of systems, contact us. At Crown Consult, we develop solutions for your transportation needs.