Predicting Link Travel Times from Floating Car Data

We study the problem of predicting travel times for links (road segments) using floating car data. We present four different methods for predicting travel times and discuss the differences in predicting on congested and uncongested roads. We show that current travel time estimates are mainly useful for prediction on links that get congested. Then we examine the problem of predicting link travel times when no recent probe car data is available for estimating current travel times. This is a serious problem that arises when using probe car data for prediction. Our solution, which we call geospatial inference, uses floating car data from nearby links to predict travel times on the desired link. We show that geospatial inference leads to improved travel time estimates for congested links compared to standard methods.