Use of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Technology to Measure Commercial Vehicle Wait Times at San Luis II Port of Entry

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has asked that state departments of transportation (DOTs) collect and study data on commercial vehicle wait times at ports of entry on the border with Mexico. The findings would identify peak periods of northbound traffic at the ports; this information would inform port staffing and security decisions, and it would also enable the trucking industry to schedule optimal travel times. Staffing at Arizona ports of entry involves not only Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) enforcement personnel, but also U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents. ADOT already collects and analyzes wait time data for commercial vehicles via radio frequency identification (RFID) technology at one Nogales port of entry. However, using RFID requires that trucks be equipped with functioning transponders, which ADOT must distribute and continue to monitor. Transponders must be installed and functional in sufficient numbers to give ADOT reliable quantities of data from which to measure and predict wait times. Technology that could efficiently provide the same data in comparable quantities — but without the cost or effort of distributing or monitoring transponders — would benefit all agencies involved at the ports. Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi technology to detect widespread discoverable electronic devices (smart phones) via anonymous media access control (MAC) addresses might mean consistently larger sample sizes than what could be achieved by distributing RFID transponders and might be done at less expense to ADOT. ADOT seeks to determine if either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, examples of anonymous re-identification (ARID) technology, can consistently measure commercial vehicle wait times on a broad enough scale to accurately schedule staff for peak periods and to communicate real time wait time information to commercial carriers at the San Luis II Port-of-Entry. This would require analyzing the penetration rate of each technology, essentially the ratio of unique devices detected per hour to the port’s flow of vehicles per hour. The study’s objectives are to: (1) Determine if there is a sufficient sample size of ARID devices at San Luis II Port-of-Entry to confidently measure border wait times of commercial vehicles at that Port of Entry. (2) Recommend which technology, whether Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, best measures a sufficient sample of commercial vehicle wait times at San Luis. (3) Justify the conversion to ARID technology by comparing to RFID technology in terms of cost in transponders and distribution/monitoring efforts.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.

Language

  • English

Project

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01635091
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: SPR-751
  • Files: RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: May 22 2017 3:34PM