Mobile data collection system for next generation transportation systems management and operations

P. Bhavsar, N. Bouaynaya
Rowan University,
United States

Keywords: mobile data collection system, transportation system, TSM&O


The transportation system is going through transition from conventional partially connected system to integrated connected system. In addition, the technology driven transportation system will also transitioning to a data driven system. Every state department of transportation will have to adopt to these transitions and equip their existing transportation systems management and operation (TSM&O) centers for these changes. One of the primary component is data collection systems. At present most of the data collection system for any TSM&O include static sensor modules in that, sensors are collection data from a fixed location. Our unique system provides an affordable and portable solution to convert existing DOT vehicle fleet into mobile data collection units which can provide high resolution location specific data for current and next generation transportation system. We have developed and evaluated a working prototype the mobile data collection system that includes pothole detection sensor and traffic count sensor. The second generation pothole sensor can collect data while vehicle is moving by scanning the roadway with a camera and identifying potholes using image processing algorithm. The first generation traffic count sensor can collect vehicle count while the vehicle is not moving. We utilized Safety Service Patrol (SSP) Vehicle from New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to evaluate pothole detection sensor. We are also developing algorithms for traffic count sensor to count vehicles while SSP vehicle is moving. Our system is affordable & portable and it can be mounted to existing vehicle. The system includes set of sensor modules connected with each other to collect transportation system and infrastructure data at any location while the vehicle is moving and/or stationary. At present most of the transportation data collection is done by sensors fixed at certain location. Our system has a potential to convert existing vehicle into mobile data collection unit. This unique characteristic can enable any departments of transportation (DOTs), county and/or local municipalities to collect high resolution location specific data for various current and future transportation system applications. This system can become the backbone for current and future transportation system management and operations (TSM&O) centers and an essential subsystem for future smart cities.