Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-KU: 122 Final Report 25-1121-0001-122


2012 Copyright of Mid-America Transportation Center


In order to determine the feasibility of using cellular telephone location data in deriving the geographic extent (truckshed) from intermodal facilities, this study was conducted to determine the feasibility analysis in three aspects: technology, penetration analysis and truck tracking methodology. A preliminary test was also conducted to demonstrate the cell phone tracking and traveling characteristics identification process using Washington, D.C. metropolitan area data provided by AirSage, Inc. The preliminary feasibility analysis found that cell phone locations could be located within an average of 100 meters or less of their actual position, which is feasible to use for a long haul truckshed tracking from the intermodal facilities. Cell phone penetration analysis showed that only partial cell phone data were available for the truckshed tracking system. Thus, a long time period of observations are needed in order to increase the number of cell phones tracked. The research team developed a process and conducted a program for tracking cell phone trajectories and identifying the cell phone characteristics (truck or not). However, a database which covers possible truck traveling objectives, such as truck stops, rest area or warehouse, and land use categories, has to be established in order to identify the characteristics of the cell phones from the anonymous cell phone database. The preliminary test illustrates several examples for tracking cell phones and identifying the characteristics of cell phones based on the proposed tracking and identification process. The results show that the vendor provided data can provide enough cell phone data points for tracking the trajectory of cell phones. It also demonstrates that the developed tracking and filtering process and computer program are able to track every individual cell phone data point and identify the traveling characteristicss based on the trajectory and destination of cell phones.