News Column

Patent Issued for Reliability of Travel Time Estimation

August 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Srinivasan, Vikram (Ferns, IN); Chatterjee, Avhishek (Ferns, IN); Datta, Samik (Karnataka, IN); Deb, Supratim (Somerset, NJ); Jaiswal, Sharad (Karnataka, IN), filed on October 27, 2009, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8798896, is Alcatel Lucent (Boulogne-Billancourt, FR).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In road traffic management, time taken to travel road segments is determined, and the same is used for various purposes. One such purpose is prediction of time that may be taken to travel a segment at a future time point. Currently various techniques have been provided to determine time taken to travel one or more road segments. Some of the techniques relate to systems and methods using vehicles with GPS-based devices as probes, cellular triangulation based solutions, and near field communication devices in vehicles, among others.

"In estimating travel times, number of samples of travel times which are available for a road segment could be insufficient to compute a statistically accurate estimate of quantities such as average travel time, and standard deviation, among others.

"In an existing technique using near field communication devices, near field communication device sensors network is deployed in a city. To determine travel times between two points 'A' and 'B', near field communication sensor-A and sensor-B which are deployed at points 'A' and 'B' are used. Each of the sensors detects vehicles that have a near field communication device in them. When a vehicle V passes by the vicinity of sensor-A, sensor-A communicates with the near field communication device in the vehicle V and detects the identity of the near field communication device in vehicle V and notes the time at which the vehicle V passes sensor-A. Subsequently, further down on the same road stretch, when the vehicle passes sensor-B, the sensor notes down the identity of the near field communication device in vehicle V and the time at which it passes B. Sensors A and B communicate this information to a central server. The central server then computes the travel time of vehicle V from A to B. If a sufficient number of vehicles are detected on the road stretch from A to B, then a statistically accurate estimate of quantities such as, average time to travel on road stretch from A to B and standard deviation in the travel time, among others, can be computed more accurately. However the sensors may not detect every detectable vehicle because, the wireless medium could be lossy, especially because near field communication mostly happens over unlicensed ISM band and, many near field communication devices like Bluetooth go through sleep and awake cycle in passive mode. Hence, there is always a probability that a near-field communication device is in sleep mode for the entire duration of proximity to a sensor. Therefore the number of vehicles commonly detected by two sensors on a road stretch could be insufficient to compute a statistically accurate estimate of quantities such as the average travel time, the standard deviation etc.

"This section introduces aspects that may be helpful in facilitating a better understanding of the invention. Accordingly, the statements of this section are to be read in this light and are not to be understood as admissions about what is in the prior art or what is not in the prior art."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "An embodiment provides method for increasing accuracy in estimating average time taken to travel through a chosen road segment. The method includes collecting data corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments, thereby enabling determination of time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments. Further, one or more correlated road segments for which time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment, are identified. A data repository stores a list of the one or more correlated road segments. Among the correlated road segments, one or more preferred road segments that increases the accuracy in determining the average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment, is determined by at least one processor. Further, the processor estimates the average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment using, data corresponding to time taken to travel through, the preferred road segments and the chosen road segment.

"Another embodiment provides a method for increasing accuracy in estimating average time taken to travel through a chosen road segment. The method includes collecting data corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments, thereby enabling determination of time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments. Further, one or more correlated road segments for which time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment, are identified. A data repository stores a list of the one or more correlated road segments. Further, for each of the correlated road segments, correlation between the time taken to travel through correlated road segments with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment is determined by at least one processor using historical data corresponding to time taken to travel through, each of the correlated road segments and the chosen road segment. Further, the processor computes average time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments. Subsequently, the processor estimates average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment, using the average time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments and correlation between the time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment.

"Another embodiment provides a system for increasing accuracy in estimating average time taken to travel through a chosen road segment. The system includes a road traffic sensing system, at least one data repository and at least one processor. The road traffic sensing system is configured to collect data corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments, thereby enabling determination of time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments. The data repository is configured to store historical data corresponding to time taken to travel through the road segments, which is determined by the data collected by the road traffic sensing system. Further, the data repository stores a list of one or more correlated road segments for which time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment. The processor is configured to determine time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments using the data, collected by the road traffic sensing system, corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments. Additionally, the processor identifies the one or more correlated road segments for which the time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment. Among the correlated road segments, one or more preferred road segments that increase the accuracy in determining average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment are identified by the processor. Further, the processor determines the average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment using, data corresponding to time taken to travel through, the preferred road segments and the chosen road segment.

"Another embodiment provides a system for increasing accuracy in estimating average time taken to travel through a chosen road segment. The system includes a road traffic sensing system, at least one data repository and at least one processor. The road traffic sensing system is configured to collect data corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments, thereby enabling determination of time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments. The data repository is configured to store historical data corresponding to time taken to travel through the road segments, which is determined by the data collected by the road traffic sensing system. Additionally, the data repository is configured to store a list of one or more correlated road segments for which time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment. The processor is configured to determine time taken by one or more vehicles to travel through the road segments using the data, collected by the road traffic sensing system, corresponding to one or more vehicles travelling through road segments. Further, the processor identifies one or more correlated road segments for which time taken to travel through the correlated road segments is correlated with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment. Additionally, the processor determines correlation between the time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment using the historical data, stored in the data repository, corresponding to time taken to travel through, the correlated road segments and the chosen road segment. The processor further determines average time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments. Subsequently, the processor estimates average time taken to travel through the chosen road segment using the average time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments and correlation between the time taken to travel through each of the correlated road segments with the time taken to travel through the chosen road segment.

"These and other aspects of the embodiments herein will be better appreciated and understood when considered in conjunction with the following description and the accompanying drawings."

For more information, see this patent: Srinivasan, Vikram; Chatterjee, Avhishek; Datta, Samik; Deb, Supratim; Jaiswal, Sharad. Reliability of Travel Time Estimation. U.S. Patent Number 8798896, filed October 27, 2009, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8798896.PN.&OS=PN/8798896RS=PN/8798896

Keywords for this news article include: Alcatel Lucent, Information Technology, Information and Data Aggregation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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