Capturing the Relationship between Motility, Mobility and Well-Being Using Smartphones

Understanding and incorporating measures of travel well-being in transportation research is critical for the design and evaluation of policies aiming at enhancing well-being. In recent years several efforts have been made to quantify travelers' subjective well-being using travelers' self-reported state of happiness while participating in various activities or travel patterns. But, in line with Amartya Sen's capability approach, it is argued that the well-being of a person is derived not only from what a person actually does or is (i.e. a person's achieved functionings) but also from his/her capabilities, i.e. the feasible alternative forms of functionings that he/she could have achieved or could have been. So far, a very limited number of studies have been conducted specifically in the field of transportation to measure well-being of travelers derived from their potential of mobility (can be related to accessibility in a broader sense) i.e. from motility. The limitations of conventional survey methods to collect uninterrupted and comprehensive information about the activities and travel spaces of people have primarily restricted the number of such studies. In this research, the investigators propose to conduct surveys and measure mobility patterns using smart phone technology (enabled with GPS, GSM, Wi-Fi and accelerometer) which will overcome the limitations of conventional surveys and will assist in developing novel measures of well-being based on a traveler's mobility potentials i.e. from motility. It is anticipated that by providing travelers with feedback about their own travel choices and the travel choices of their peer group, the project will be able to influence travelers to make conscious decisions which will ultimately contribute to enhancing their travel well-being and encourage them to shift towards more sustainable transport behavior. This proposal contributes to the University Transportation Center (UTC) theme of development of livability performance measures.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

    77 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02139
  • Start Date: 20120101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160131
  • Source Data: RiP Project 33363

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489803
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC01, MITR24-1
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2013 1:02AM