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Ford, MIT use Bostonians’ cellphone location data for traffic planning

Lucas Mearian | Aug. 30, 2016
Cellphone records and big-data analysis could help planners keep tabs on transportation infrastructure

Active cellphone users were labeled as commuters, which amounted to 133,448 individuals who have journey-to-work trips, and non-commuters, or 43,606 individuals, who have no journey-to-work trips.

 heavy traffic at fenway park boston

Traffic around Boston's Fenway Park Baseball Stadium.

"Our ability to correctly model urban daily activities for traffic control, energy consumption and urban planning have critical impacts on people's quality of life and the everyday functioning of our cities," the researchers said. "To inform policy making of important projects such as planning a new metro line and managing the traffic demand during big events, or to prepare for emergencies, we need reliable models of urban travel demand. These are models with high resolution that simulate individual mobility for an entire region."

 

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