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Arterial link travel time estimation considering traffic signal delays using cellular handoff data

Arterial link travel time estimation considering traffic signal delays using cellular handoff data

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Link travel time is an important evaluation index of urban arterial traffic condition. It is traditionally estimated from loop detector data and GPS probe vehicle data. The former suffers from the coverage and maintenance issues. The latter has issues related to low penetration rate. Cellphone handoff data is one alternative that may address those deficiencies with its large coverage areas and continuous detection capabilities at low cost. Existing cellular probe vehicle based travel time estimation methods are primarily designed for freeway. Limited studies have been conducted for signalised arterials. Cellular handoff data detects the time lapse between two consecutive wireless handoff points. When vehicles with on-call cellphones traverse between two handoff points, their space mean speeds can be calculated by dividing the pre-calibrated distances by the time lapses. In this study, a new cellular handoff data based arterial travel time estimation model is proposed and compared with existing models. A hybrid traffic-and-wireless simulation network is built to simulate the handoff data generation and processing. Field data are collected at an arterial corridor in Chengdu, China to establish the baseline condition. The results from the proposed model show promising performance with detection errors of link travel times mostly within 10%.

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