Task Order 6302
Traffic Operations Research
Evaluation of Portable Automated Data Collection Technologies
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
San Diego State University
Because manual data collection is expensive and labor-intensive, restricted budgets and personal resources may stifle the collection of traffic data needed to make educated decisions about the highway system. One alternative is the use of portable automatic data collection systems, which combine flexible data transmission systems, mounting systems, portable power sources, and state-of-the-art non-intrusive sensors.
Portable data collection systems will be identified, collected, demonstrated (in the field under realistic conditions), and evaluated for their effectiveness and practicality as a substitute for manual data collection. The proposed research includes a literature survey and surveys of Caltrans, other states' Departments of Transportation, and equipment vendors to establish requirements for portable data collection. The results of these surveys will be used to develop systems for portable collection of multilane counts, turning movement counts, and vehicle collection counts. From these, a few will be selected for demonstration.
Crews supplied by Caltrans' District 11 will install these systems in the field for testing. Cost, effectiveness (i.e. count efficiency), and practicality for portable deployment will all be recorded at the test site using video image processing systems to control temporary traffic signals.
The deliverables of the project include two interim reports, a final report, and a final workshop presentation. Also, draft implementation guidelines, training manuals and other appropriate materials will be preserved following the project.
Related PATH Articles/Journals
James H. Banks, "Evaluation of Portable Automated Data Collection Technologies: Interim Report, Work Accomplished During Fiscal Year 2005-2006." (UCB-ITS-PWP-2006-09) 01 August 2006.