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Evaluating the Accuracy of GPS Spot Speeds for Estimating Truck Travel Speed

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Publication: Transportation Research Record
Volume: 2011
Pages: 101–110
Publication Date: 2011

A number of trucking companies use Global Positioning System (GPS) devices for fleet management. Data extracted from these devices can provide valuable traffic information such as spot (instantaneous) speeds and vehicle trajectory. However, the accuracy of GPS spot speeds has not been fully explored, and there is concern about their use for estimating truck travel speed. This concern was addressed by initially comparing GPS spot speeds with speeds estimated from dual-loop detectors. A simple speed estimation method based on GPS spot speeds was devised to estimate link travel speed, and that method was compared with space mean speed estimation based on GPS vehicle location and time data. The analysis demonstrated that aggregated GPS spot speeds generally matched loop detector speeds and captured travel conditions over time and space. Speed estimation based on GPS spot speeds was sufficiently accurate in comparison with space mean speeds, with a mean absolute difference of less than 6%. It is concluded that GPS spot speed data provide an alternative for measuring freight corridor performance and truck travel characteristics.

Authors: Dr. Anne GoodchildDr. Ed McCormack, Wenjuan Zhao
Recommended Citation:
Zhao, Wenjuan, Anne V. Goodchild, and Edward D. McCormack. "Evaluating the accuracy of spot speed data from global positioning systems for estimating truck travel speed." Transportation Research Record 2246, no. 1 (2011): 101-110.