With the current popularity of mobile devices with Bluetooth technology, numerous studies have developed methods to analyze the data from such devices to estimate a variety of traffic information, such as travel time, link speed, and origin–destination estimations. However, few studies have comprehensively determined the impact of the penetration rate on the estimated travel time derived from Bluetooth detectors. The objectives of this paper were threefold: (1) to develop a data-processing method to estimate the travel time based on Bluetooth transactional data; (2) to determine the impact of vehicle speeds on Bluetooth detection performance; and (3) to analyze how the Bluetooth penetration rate affected deviations in the estimated travel time. A 28 km toll section in Bangkok, Thailand, was chosen for the study. A number of Bluetooth detectors and microwave radar devices were installed to collect traffic data in October 2020. Five data-processing steps were developed to estimate the travel time. Based on the results, the penetration rate during the day (50 to 90 percent) was higher than during the night (20 to 50 percent). In addition, we found that speed had adverse effects on the MAC address detection capability of the Bluetooth detectors; for speeds greater than 80 km/h, the number of MAC addresses detected decreased. The minimum Bluetooth penetration rate should be at least 1 percent (or 37 vehicles/h) during peak periods and at least 5 percent (or 49 vehicles/h) during the off-peak period.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.