We are witnessing how urban areas are reclaiming road space, before devoted exclusively to cars, for pedestrians. With the increase of pedestrian activity, we need to update our existing transportation forecasting models by focusing more on people walking. The first step of extending the current models is to start with collecting information on pedestrians needed for the trip generation phase. This article discusses opportunities and limitations of tracking pedestrian activity by utilizing information provided by cellular networks. In order to track people, regardless of the underlying wireless media, two qualifications must be met: first, unique and anonymous identification, and second, geospatial visibility through time. While the latter requirement can be achieved with techniques that are similar for different wireless media, how to uniquely identify a pedestrian using a cellular network is domain-specific. We show that tracking of pedestrians using cellular networks can be done not only without their constant active participation, but also without disrupting normal cellular service. However, although this method is technically feasible, one should be very careful when wanting to implement it by keeping in mind a very important thing: how to protect people’s privacy.
Opportunities and Challenges of Trip Generation Data Collection Techniques Using Cellular Networks
Iva Bojic ; Yuji Yoshimura ; Carlo Ratti
IEEE Communications Magazine > Volume: 55 Issue: 3