A WebApp Design to Implement Travel Behavioral Nudging using MOVES

TitleA WebApp Design to Implement Travel Behavioral Nudging using MOVES
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBrittany Welsh, Tim Baird, Jinhua Zhao, David Block-Schachter
Conference NameTransportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting
PublisherTransportation Research Board
Conference LocationWashington, D.C.
KeywordsConnectivity; Data collection; Intelligent transportation systems; Internet; Motion perception; Smartphones; Software; Technological innovations; Travel behavior; Travel diaries; Websites (Information retrieval)

The democratization of ICT in the form of GPS, motion detection technologies, and internet connectivity in smartphones has led to a proliferation of mobile applications which can detect and record an individual’s travel behaviors. Compared with common methods of collecting transportation data, such as travel diaries and single-purpose gadgets (e.g. pedometers), the use of smartphone features can make data collection both more accurate and easier for both researcher and participants. In order to enable these benefits, ongoing research has focused on the software design for the collection of this data as a primary effort. Commercially available apps with similar functionality have found market niches in the ‘fully instrumented’ or ‘Quantified Self’ movement as enablers of physical fitness tracking. This paper outlines a web application prototype that interfaces with one such third-party tracking application, Moves, to automatically collect travel data in a format convenient to both users and researchers. The prototype application registers a participant with a research study and guides them through the process of authenticating researcher access of their Moves data. While dedicated travel survey apps aim to replicate the functionality of apps like Moves, they require separate installation and additional attention from study participants. The described web application, combined with Moves, requires almost no additional user interaction. This method is a lightweight, flexible solution for researchers looking to quickly test new hypotheses, allowing the researcher to progress rapidly from concept to research. Using data in this fashion expands the universe of travelers that researchers can reach.