Arterial roadway traffic data collection using bluetooth technology
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The use of Bluetooth technology for gathering traffic data is becoming increasingly popular due to the large volume of data that can be gathered at a relatively low cost. The limited number of devices in discoverable mode and potential long discovery time of the Bluetooth devices creates an opportunity for evaluating the sensor array setup that can maximize the sample of devices identified. This thesis investigates several factors that have a significant impact on the quality of the data obtained using Bluetooth, including the number of Bluetooth readers, orientation of the Bluetooth antennas, position of the readers relative to one another, and the location of the Bluetooth stations. The thesis begins with an overview of Bluetooth technology and literature review on the use of Bluetooth in previous traffic studies. Next, the methodology for the setup of the Bluetooth system and the four tests performed to evaluate the factors affecting the quality of the data are described. Through the results of these tests, it was observed that a "flat" antenna orientation allows for the greatest detection range and that the walls of buildings can prevent detection of Bluetooth devices inside the buildings. In addition, using multiple Bluetooth readers per sensor array resulted in statistically significant increases in number of detections of single reader sensors, and horizontally separated sensor arrays were observed to be more effective than vertically separated sensor arrays. Finally, the thesis concludes with a summary of findings and a discussion of further research needs.