Truck Activity Analysis Using GPS Data

Due to the increasing impacts of freight movements on transportation infrastructure, operations, and the economy, planning and decision making bodies must consider freight at every stage of the decision making process. Traditional data sources for monitoring truck activity such as the national Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (VIUS) or Weigh-in-motion (WIM) lack the necessary detail pertaining to travel times, route selection, and time of day travel patterns. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate and compare the appropriateness of previously developed methodologies for analyzing truck GPS data within the context of the freight patterns observed in Arkansas. The primary objective of this study is to determine how truck GPS data will be used to help determine freight flow patterns statewide in Arkansas. The study will coordinate with the Arkansas State Freight Plan efforts to analyze truck activity characteristics such as trip duration, trip length, time-of-day profiles, seasonality profiles, and origin-destination patterns. The project will also determine: 1) The coverage of truck GPS data in Arkansas and what gaps need to be filled in order to obtain a complete understanding of freight flow patterns; 2) Ways to fill data gaps in coverage utilizing current data collection technology; including but not limited to WIM and Arkansas Highway Police weigh station data; 3) Methodology to integrate findings into the Department’s Long Range Plan by collaborating with AHTD consultants, data into freight performance measures and proposed targets for the regional areas and entire state in accordance with MAP21 and the FAST Act, and data into all present and future travel demand models utilized by the Department; 4) Other potential applications of truck GPS data to assist with freight planning efforts in Arkansas.