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Evaluation of Vehicle Positioning Accuracy using GPS-Enabled Smartphones in Traffic Data Capturing Open Access


Other title
Positioning Accuracy
smartphone GPS
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Qiu, Tony (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Kim, Amy (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, G (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Transportation Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Connected Vehicle (CV) technology aims to improve transportation management and system performance by incorporating advanced detection and communication system such as Global Positioning System (GPS), and smart devices to make roads and vehicles better equipped to exchange important information regarding road and travel conditions. GPS have emerged as the leading technology to provide location information to various location based services. With an increasing smartphone penetration rate, as well as expanding spatial and network coverage, the idea of combining GPS positioning functions with smartphone platforms to perform GPS-enabled smartphone-based traffic management and data monitoring is promising. This study presents a field experiment conducted along Whitemud Drive (a section of Connected Vehicle Test Bed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), Queen Elizabeth Highway, and various urban arterial roadways using a GPS-enabled smartphone, cellular positioning technique, professional GPS handset and combination of smartphone and Geofence. The relative positioning errors and the data collection performances using the aforementioned technologies were evaluated and compared. The characteristics and the relationships between the positioning errors and traffic related factors are investigated using regression analysis. The results indicate that GPS-enabled smartphones are capable of correctly positioning 92% of the roadway segments to Google Earth, while achieving accuracy of less than 10 meters for 95% of the data. Using a cellular positioning technique, cell-IDs were correctly identified in repeatable trials with accuracy levels much lower than the smartphone-GPS positioning. Using combination of smartphone positioning and Geofence are promising in finding accurate positions and timestamps. In all scenarios, the use of four data source for obtaining location and traffic condition is feasible; and particularly, using GPS-enabled smartphones and/or its combination with Geofences can provide good accuracy level for location and traffic state parameter estimates.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Yin, Elena., Pengfei.Li.,Jie.Fang, and Tony.Qiu. Evaluation of Vehicle Positioning Accuracy by Using GPS-Enabled Smartphones. Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting. Washington DC. 2014.

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