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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|This summary report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information|
|Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-14-060 Date: July 2014|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-14-060
Date: July 2014
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Technical Report Documentation Page
|1. Report No.
|2. Government Accession No.||3 Recipient's Catalog No.|
|4. Title and Subtitle
Cell Phone Data and Travel Behavior Research: Symposium Summary Report
5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization Code|
Gregory Bucci and Tom Morton
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center 55
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
|11. Contract or Grant No.
Contract DTFH61-1 0-V -00031
|12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management
|13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Symposium Summary Report, February 2014
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
|15. Supplementary Notes
FHWA's Contracting Officer's Task Manager (COTM): Zachary Ellis, HRTM-30 Technical Contact: Brad Gudzinas
This report summarizes the key themes from a symposium held on February 12, 2014, to discuss opportunities and challenges using cellular location data for national travel behavior analysis. Participants discussed the availability of cellular data and the common types of licensing agreements; applications of cellular data and how it can be leveraged; fusion of cellular data in terms of merging it with other data sources; and validation of cellular data to determine accurate and meaningful results. Particular focal points included applications and limitations of land-use models and data, and using surveys in conjunction with cellular location data to facilitate accuracy and precision.
|17. Key Words
Cell phone, cellular data, national travel behavior, agreements, mobile phones, acoustic sensors.
|18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public data analysis, data validation, data sources, travel through the National Technical Information Service, monitoring, data availability, licensing Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classification
20. Security Classification
21. No. of Pages
|Form DOT F 1700.7||Reproduction of completed page authorized|
|EAR||Exploratory Advanced Research|
|FHWA||Federal Highway Administration|
|FDOT||Florida Department of Transportation|
|GPS||Global Positioning System|
|NHTS||National Household Travel Survey|
|TRB||Transportation Research Board|
On February 12, 2014, the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA's) Office of Highway Policy Information, with the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, sponsored a Cell Phone Data and Travel Behavior Research Symposium. The symposium brought together data providers in private industry, researchers in academic fields, and other professionals from both public agencies and private businesses and institutes to explore opportunities and challenges using cellular location data for national travel behavior analysis. The authors of this document summarize the key themes discussed during the symposium held at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB's) Keck Center in Washington, DC.
Discussions centered on the availability of cellular data and the common types of licensing agreements, applications of cellular data and how it can be leveraged, fusion of cellular data in terms of merging it with other data sources, and validation of cellular data to determine accurate and meaningful results. Particular focal points included applications and limitations of land-use models and data and using surveys in conjunction with cellular location data to facilitate accuracy and precision.
FHWA sponsored this symposium in cooperation with the TRB Travel Survey Methods Committee, Special Task Force on Data for Decisions and Performance Measures, and Task Force on Understanding New Directions for the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).
The symposium began with representatives of the sponsoring offices providing a brief introduction to their interests in cellular data. David Winter, Director of FHWA's Office of Highway Policy Information, began by stating that cellular data is a very important emerging field. He noted that cellular data can help provide reliable data for national decisionmaking and that the critical next steps include how best to integrate and utilize cellular data with current methods. Winter explained that the Office of Highway Policy Information has worked with TRB and others on several projects, such as the NHTS task force. According to Winter, this type of collaboration will be useful moving forward as researchers explore emerging areas, such as cellular data.
David Kuehn, EAR Program Manager, explained that the EAR Program seeks out advances in science to test possible highway applications. He noted that the program works to reach out to the community, not only to determine what areas are on the cutting edge, but also to improve research outcomes through peer and panel reviews. Kuehn also highlighted that methods for applying cellular data to highway transportation can be viewed as high-risk, high-reward propositions. Cellular data aligns with many of the EAR Program focus areas and can contribute to the long-term goal of better system investment and better system operations.
Tianjia Tang, Travel Monitoring and Surveys Team Leader in the Office of Highway Policy Information, explained that research on applying cell data will assist with determining why, when, and how people travel in a timely and comprehensive manner, which is scientifically and statistically significant. Tang stated that a primary goal would be to determine individual trips, roadway usage, and the reason for the trip on a nationwide scale.