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Analysis of the AirTouch automatic vehicle location system's ability to locate moving vehicles
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Automatic vehicle location systems are becoming more prevalent in diverse transportation applications. Their ability to locate vehicles can assist in locating emergency and public transit vehicles for better real-time dispatching as well as recovering stolen vehicles. Because many applications require traveling vehicles, this thesis focused on the AirTouch system's ability to accurately locate a moving vehicle. Recent AirTouch vehicle location system reports were compiled and analyzed to distinguish what factors tend to affect the accuracy of the readings. Based on the results of the reports, two sites were selected to minimize the external effects that could create inaccurate readings. Six speeds were selected ranging from 0 to 80 kmph (O to 50 mph) in 16 kmph (10 mph) increments. Each velocity was tested 20 times at each site. The location readings were compared to differential Global Positioning System (dGPS) readings which currently provide the most accurate location readings available for civilian use. The dGPS readings were also collected at each test site. It was discovered that one site produced more accurate readings compared to the other site. In addition, the longitude differences accounted for most of the error in the readings. Finally, more error was prevalent in the readings associated with the vehicle's direction of travel as opposed to readings perpendicular to the direction of travel. Based on the data analysis, it was impossible to conclude if velocity affected the accuracy of the AirTouch system. The results of this thesis have suggested that the AirTouch system does decrease in accuracy as the velocity increases among traveling vehicles. However, in one case, the accuracy of the stationary readings were less accurate compared to the non-stationary readings. At 80 kmph (50 mph), AirTouch had an approximate inaccuracy of 50 meters (164 feet). When the data was adjusted for human error, this approximate inaccuracy decreased to 33 meters (107 feet). For transit services, these averages are appropriate. When dispatching a transit vehicle, two-way communication between dispatcher and driver can verify the vehicle's exact location. Furthermore, when a customer needs to know where a vehicle is and when it should arrive, 33 to 50 meters (107 to 164 feet) is sufficient for the customers' needs.
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Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Henry, Tracy Lynn (1995). Analysis of the AirTouch automatic vehicle location system's ability to locate moving vehicles. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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