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DLR researchers win Eltis Award at 2012 Transport Research Arena in Athens (Greece)

By Jan Christiaens / Updated: 23 Sep 2014
A team of four researchers from Germany's National Research Centre for Aeronautics and Space (DLR) was awarded the Eltis Award at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2012 in Athens. Their paper “Augmenting the Floating Car Data Approach by Dynamic Indirect Traffic Detection” was selected as the best paper on urban transport at TRA 2012.
The award was presented following the plenary session this week in Athens by Prof. Mike McDonald, the chair of TRA’s program committee. He and his team identified the winner and the finalists for the Eltis Award. The winning paper details a new approach to obtaining dynamic traffic data using Bluetooth signals. “The paper clearly demonstrated technical excellence in transport research”, said Prof. McDonald when he presented the award to Marek Heinreich, who represented his colleagues at TRA.

Every two years, the Transport Research Arena brings together the key stakeholders of transport research in Europe, including experts, operators, industry and policy-makers, to contribute to innovation in sustainable mobility for Europe.

Sten Ruppe, Marek Junghans, Mathias Haberjahn and Christian Troppenz developed a new approach for efficient and low-cost large-scale traffic monitoring: Via Bluetooth, additional information is obtained applying the Floating Car Data technique. Floating Car Data (FCD) is an established approach for the mobile determination of traffic parameters, which does not require a costly stationary infrastructure. Floating cars (often taxis) are equipped with modules for positioning and transmitting the data to a processing unit, for example to traffic management centres, where the data are processed to derive travel times, spatio-temporal traffic information, etc.

This new approach augments the FCD principle and enables not only the detection of vehicles but also of pedestrians, cyclists and passengers of public transport. The approach is based on a method of indirect detection of traffic objects (cars, cyclists, pedestrians) using radio-based Bluetooth/Wifi technologies. This approach assumes that many traffic participants use devices with activated Bluetooth/Wi-Fi functionality (e.g., mobile phones, headsets).

During the pilot in Berlin two test cars were equipped with the prototype of a Bluetooth/Wifi receiver, which detects all traffic objects within a 100 metre radius via their Bluetooth/Wifi identification number. This identification number is augmented by the time stamps and positions of the detecting objects.

Since the Bluetooth technique proved to work, the researchers have now set up traffic simulations using SUMO (Simulation of Urban Mobility) to determine how many Bluetooth receivers are necessary to obtain information about the quality of static data.

Source: TRA 2012

Photo credits: Polis
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