Where you go tells who you are—and vice versa

November 19, 2018—Estimating travel demand in a city is a critical tool for urban planners to understand traffic patterns, predict traffic congestion, and plan ahead for transportation infrastructure maintenance and replacement. For years, researchers have used the classic practice of multiplying the number of trips per day per person for different demographic groups to model activity-based travel demand. But because this method was developed before the current era of ubiquitous sensors—GPS devices, smartphones, cameras on light poles, and connected vehicles, among them—researchers have found it difficult to validate their estimates in real-world situations.