May 8, 2020

340 words 2 mins read

Passing Traffic - Covid 19 lockdown

Passing Traffic - Covid 19 lockdown

Quantifying who’s going past my house

I live on a busy road leading into a suburb. In term time rush hour it’s not uncommon to have a queue of traffic right outside our house. Within days of the UK going into lockdown on the 23rd of March there was a noticable drop in traffic as you’d expect. It wasn’t long however before it felt like people were starting to venture out again in their cars.

My Wifi access points (unifi) have always kept a log of Neighbouring SSIDs, as should all commercial WiFi systems as part of PCI/DCSS audit recommendations.
They have a good API with which you can retrieve a list of the neighbouring Access Points they’ve seen within the last hour. This is only picking up cars that have WiFi installed, lots do but the majority don’t.

It’s probably too early to see trends yet but I thought I’d make the data public.

Weekly WiFi
Weekly WiFi

I think perhaps there’s a slight increase noticable on the monthly graph (Week 17 to 18)

Monthly WiFi
Monthly WiFi

BlueTooth

Can we do better with BlueTooth. BlueTooth should allow us to see not just smartphones, but cars, headphones and even Garmins jogging past. Whilst there are many BLE channels just like 5Ghz WiFi, BLE only advertises on three channels, making it harder to miss a beacon/advertisement, so we should see more of the devices as they pass. I’m getting this data by counting BLE devices / 5 Minute block in a Raspberry Pi at the front of my house

I think the downside with BlueTooth is it’s ubiquitous, it’s seeing everyone on their prescribed daily exercise and so a decrease in car traffic has possibly been matched with an increase in footfall. Time will tell.

Weekly BlueTooth
Weekly BlueTooth

Not much of a trend yet

Monthly BlueTooth
Monthly BlueTooth

Yes I’ve used MRTG, yes there are much better ways to display data now days but I wanted something to produce static data and to get it working quickly. You can click the images to get the full history