American Society of Civil Engineers

Measuring Control Delay Components Using Second-by-Second GPS Speed Data

by Joonho Ko, (Assoc. Res. Fellow, Seoul Development Inst., 391 Seocho-dong Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-071, Korea. E-mail:, Michael Hunter, (Asst. Prof., School of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Georgia Inst. of Technol., 790 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355. E-mail:, and Randall Guensler, (Prof., School of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Georgia Inst. of Technol., 790 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta, GA 30332-0355. E-mail:

Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol. 134, No. 8, August 2008, pp. 338-346, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: High-resolution vehicle speed profiles obtained from sophisticated devices such as global positioning system (GPS) receivers provide an opportunity to accurately measure intersection delay, composed of deceleration delay, stopped delay, and acceleration delay. Although the delay components can be measured by manually examining the speed profiles or derived time – space diagrams, identifying when vehicles begin to decelerate or stop accelerating is not always a straightforward task. In addition, a manual identification process may be laborious and time consuming when handling a large network or numerous runs. More importantly, the results from a manual process may not be consistent between analysts or even for a single analyst over time. This paper proposes a new approach to identifying control delay components based on second-by-second vehicle speed profiles obtained from GPS devices. The proposed approach utilizes both denoised speed and acceleration profiles for capturing critical points associated with each delay component. Speed profiles are used for the identification of stopped time periods, and acceleration profiles are used for detecting deceleration onset points and acceleration ending points. The writers applied this methodology to sampled runs collected from GPS-equipped instrumented vehicles and concluded that it satisfactorily computed delay components under normal traffic conditions and for the intersections not affected by adjacent intersections.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Global positioning systems
Traffic delay
Traffic signals