Vehicle Bluetooth device monitor helps ease traffic congestion

June 17, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
Researchers at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed an application that generates traffic information of cities and roads by detecting the Bluetooth devices on board vehicles.

The main goal of the system, developed by three researchers at School of Telecommunications Engineering from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, is to generate information of city traffic and roads from the identification of Bluetooth devices boarded on vehicles. The information includes magnitudes such as travel time between two points or the distribution of traffic at intersections, among others, that will allow city councils and highway authorities to carry out a better management of traffic network in order to avoid congestion.

The congestion problem makes each driver waste on average over 30 hours a year worldwide. The waste of time translates to 88 billion euros a year in United States and 839 million euros in the city of Madrid which drives the need to implement measures to improve mobility in both roads and urban road infrastructures that help alleviate the current situation.

To this end, researchers have developed BlueTT, a software programme embedded in a complete monitoring system that generates relevant information about congestion on streets and roads. BlueTT unequivocally identifies the Bluetooth device boarded in vehicles and processes this data to forecast the travel time with updates every minute and automatically adapt the specific conditions of the traffic at all times.

BlueTT is able to connect thousands of detectors on a same platform by registering the new sensors that are deployed at different magnifications. This capacity provides the system with the essential scalability in this type of applications. The captured data is given through a web interface that contains the travel time in real time and a set of query about the storage information on a database.

The result is a robust system for generating relevant information about traffic. Now, the system has three networks in Madrid and Seville and running in real conditions since November 2013. UPM is now concluding agreements to use BlueTT with important traffic managers. A spin-off company is to set in order to boost its