Skip to main content

Floating Car Data

  • Reference work entry


Probe vehicle data; PVD; Vehicle tracking data


Floating car data (FCD) refers to using data generated by one vehicle as a sample to assess the overall traffic condition (“cork swimming in the river”). Typically this data comprises basic vehicle telemetry such as speed, direction and, most importantly, the position of the vehicle.

Main Text

The over-time‐collected positional data component of FCD is referred to as vehicle tracking data. FCD can be obtained by tracking using either GPS devices or mobile phones. The latter type results in low-accuracy data. Depending on the collection method and data accuracy, more or less sophisticated map-matching algorithms have to be used to relate tracking data to a road network.

In database terms, the tracking data can be modeled in terms of a trajectory, which is obtained by interpolating the position samples. Typically, linear interpolation is used as opposed to other methods, such as polynomial splines. The sampled positions...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Recommended Reading

  1. Schaefer, R.-P., Thiessenhusen, K.-U., Wagner, P.: A traffic information system by means of real-time floating-car data. In: Proc. ITS World Congress, Chicago (2002)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2008 Springer-Verlag

About this entry

Cite this entry

Pfoser, D. (2008). Floating Car Data. In: Shekhar, S., Xiong, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of GIS. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation