Using cellular telephones to track participants' movements to and from an event
Schmitz, P.M.U.; Cooper, A.K.; Southern African Transport Conference (30th : 2011 : Pretoria, South Africa); Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB); Minister of Transport, South Africa
Paper presented at the 30th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 11-14 July 2011 "Africa on the Move", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The aim of this project was to determine whether the cellular telephones of spectators could be tracked actively while travelling to and from an event, to give them useful travel information en route. Further, we investigated the effect on the tracking results when a large number of people attend such an event, creating cellular telephone network congestion. It was envisaged to map the movements in real-time to link them to a spatial traffic information system, to correlate a participant's route with any traffic incidents such as congestion or accidents. The advisory based on the aforementioned would then be sent as a computer-generated voice message to the participant. Owing to the unavailability of such a system, the advisory was simulated by the participants themselves, by sending text messages that were then broadcast as voice calls, as a proof of concept. The event selected was a sell-out Super 14 rugby game, which provided the required congested network. The network bounced the cellular telephones around the nearest cells to the stadium, thus detaching the inferred location of the cellular telephone from the actual spatial location of the participant. It was possible to track participants travelling at speed with reasonable accuracy, but not possible to track pedestrians owing to canyon effects. It was also not possible to track participants close to the event owing to the cell bouncing.
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