Installing the app and signing in
The "TrafficSense Aalto" app is available on the Google Play Store. Follow the instructions on the store page to install the app.
Launching the app
Using the app
At the basic level, you do not need to do anything with the app. Your mobility is automatically recorded as long as the service is running and the features presented in this guide are available to use. We would particularly appreciate it if you used the Edit/Confirm function after your trips to verify detected transportation modes and help improve the quality of your data.
- Keep your Location Service on high accuracy (GPS and Wi-Fi) for best results.
- A SIM card is not necessary for collecting data with TrafficSense, but end-user services require a network connection.
- An active Internet connection is not needed for collecting data. The TrafficSense service can buffer data and communicate with the server when an Internet connection is available over either Wi-Fi or cellular data.
- The service runs in the background. There is no need to keep the application open.
- You will see the app icon on the left in your device’s status bar as well as in the notification drawer. The icon may indicate that the TrafficSense service is sleeping (the “zzz” icon) or your current state of mobility, for example idle, walking, cycling or vehicle. The icons may look a bit different depending on your device.
The TrafficSense service is active by default and runs in the background. There is no need for user interaction.
Stop Service / Start Service
It is recommended to keep the TrafficSense service active as long as possible so it can better understand mobility patterns. At times when you don’t want your mobility recorded, just tap the Stop service menu item to deactivate the service. To resume mobility recording, tap Start service.
When the TrafficSense service is deactivated, its icon disappears from the status bar of your device.
Your previous trips
View routes, times and modes
Tap on the road icon to view previous trips. You can select the date for which you wish to see your previous trips on the map. This shows the routes of all trip sections (e.g. walk → ride bus → walk). Transport modes are indicated by color and icon on each trip section. Tapping on the icon will indicate the mode of transport in text, the line (headsign) for public transportation and the start and end times of the section.
Please note that routes may look odd or incomplete during the trip while the server processes your data. Public transport trips are recognised within one hour after the trip; before that they appear as car trips.
Edit or confirm the modes of transport
To verify the automatic detection or if the app has detected the mode of transport incorrectly for a trip, tap the corresponding trip icon on the map and then Edit/Confirm to confirm or revise. For public transport trips, it is also possible to enter the line indicator (headsign, e.g. 550, M2). If the detected mode of transport is correct, tapping Confirm sends a confirmation message (as verification) to our server, which helps improve the accuracy of automatic mode detection.
View your most probable next destinations (ordered 1–5 based on their likelihood) on the map. You can tap on a destination and tap the Google Maps Route Planner icon to open Google Maps and start routing from your current location to the selected destination.
Show or hide traffic conditions on the map with the traffic light icon. Showing of traffic conditions is automatically activated when selecting a notification concerning a traffic incident.
Energy Certificate shows your mobility behaviour from the viewpoint of emissions and sustainability. It shows the distance in kilometres travelled by each transportation mode, average CO2 emissions caused by your trips so far as well as your ranking among TrafficSense users. You can also specify a date range. You can also share your report with your friends. During the first share storage permissions will be requested (used for an image of the energy certificate).
Opens the feedback form in your browser. Fill in and tap Submit at the bottom of the page. The pre-filled fields “Client number”, “Client version” and “Phone model” should not be edited – they help us connect your feedback with your data.
The feedback form is anonymous by default, so if you would like a reply to your feedback, please enter your email address in the “Details” field.
Use this menu in case you want to sign out and sign in with a different Google Account (Note: Being signed in is required for the service to run).
Start Service / Stop Service
Suspend or resume the TrafficSense background service, carrying out mobility recording.
On this page you can see your Client Number, a unique identifier assigned to each installation of the application.
Keeping the TrafficSense service running
The TrafficSense service running on your device has been optimised for minimal power consumption, especially when the device is not moving. However, some devices may stop background services after hours or days. The same issue affects all continuously running background services.
TrafficSense can only collect data when the service is running on your device. Therefore, it is essential for your participation in the study to ensure that the service is not automatically stopped.
How to check whether the service is running?
The TrafficSense service places an icon on the left side of the status bar and a continuous notification in the notification tray. If a TrafficSense Aalto notification is not visible, the service is not running.
Note: If you wish to get rid of the notification, it can be hidden from view in newer versions of Android without closing the service or disabling disruption announcements. Before hiding the notification, please observe that the service stays on for at least four days. Hide the TrafficSense permanent notification by sliding it slightly to the right to reveal a settings button. Tap the button, tap "ALL CATEGORIES" and under "Categories", disable "TrafficSense Aalto Permanent Notification".
How to prevent your device from automatically stopping the service
If the "TrafficSense Aalto" notification keeps disappearing, the first step in most devices is to make sure that the battery usage of TrafficSense is not optimised. The menus to do this vary between manufacturers and Android versions, but here are two examples:
Open Settings → Apps & notifications (sometimes also App info)
Select any application (the one to not optimise is selected later in step 6)
Select Battery usage (or Advanced → Battery)
Select Power-saving feature (or Battery optimisation)
Under Power-saving exceptions select APPS tab (or under Battery optimisation select All apps)
Find TrafficSense Aalto. Select the checkbox next to it (if no checkbox is available, tap on TrafficSense Aalto and select Don't optimize).
After this TrafficSense Aalto should appear on EXCEPTIONS tab (or Not optimized list)
If your device's manufacturer is Nokia, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Google (Pixel, Nexus) or Lenovo, other steps may also be necessary. If the TrafficSense Aalto notification keeps disappearing after setting the application to Not optimized, please visit the https://dontkillmyapp.com/ website for manufacturer-specific instructions.
Your name, email address or any other personal details are not saved in our database. The Google account is used for connecting data from different devices of the same user. If you e.g. change to a new phone, your data will be continuous as long as you sign in with the same Google account.
The anonymous Client Number is saved in a database to distinguish between different installations. This is a unique number assigned to each installation of the TrafficSense application. You can see your Client Number in About menu.
There is no need to manually run the app each time the device is restarted. The TrafficSense service will start automatically after the device is restarted, unless it has been deactivated (Stop Service).
Please note that routes may look odd or incomplete during the trip while the server processes your data.