ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Analysis of Global Positioning System-Based Vehicle Activity Data and Their Impact on CO₂

Matthew J. Barth, Ph.D., Director, Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), University of California, Riverside

September 11, 2007
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Understanding vehicle activity patterns both spatially and temporally is critical for building accurate mobile source emissions inventories.

Vehicle activity has frequently been characterized using average speed and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), however advances in modeling of mobile sources have increased the resolution in vehicle activity necessary for using the new models to their full capabilities. GPS (Global Positioning System)-based vehicle activity datasets are now becoming increasingly available from several different research programs.

For example, in 2001, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) conducted their 2001 California Statewide Household Travel Survey Program, which contains GPS-based data sets from across the state. Further, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) carried out a post-census travel survey in 2001, which contains a number of GPS-datalogger datasets. These and other datasets have been extensively examined, extracting vehicle activity information for better characterization of vehicle activity. Results from this analysis will be presented, in particular to improve our understanding of the CO2 emissions impact.

Speaker Biography

Matthew J. Barth, Ph.D., is currently director of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT). Dr. Barth joined the University of California-Riverside in 1991, conducting research in Electrical Engineering where his research focuses on applying engineering system concepts and automation technology to Transportation Systems, and in particular how it relates to energy and air quality issues. Dr. Barth is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), Transportation Research Board's Transportation and Air Quality Committee, and New Technology Committee, and ITS America's Energy and Environment Committee. He has also served on several National Research Council (NRC) committees. Current research interests include Intelligent Transportation Systems, Transportation/Emissions Modeling, Vehicle Activity Analysis, Electric Vehicle Technology, and Advanced Sensing and Control.

Professor Matthew Barth received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of Colorado in 1984, and M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1990) degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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