Smartphone Surveys

In the early 1990s, people were floored when they could call someone while they were on the road. Today, we’re shocked when we meet someone who doesn’t even have a smartphone. Mobile phones have morphed from a luxury to a necessity and, along with their undeniably widespread use, there has been an impressive development of the technology inside of them. Our smartphones are now not only our personal super computers but also passively collecting astounding amounts of information about us, our travels, and our preferences.

Meanwhile, demand is growing for ever more detailed, current, and longitudinal data to inform transportation planning, policies, and investments. Measuring travel behavior, its rapid changes, and the “why” behind those changes is nuanced. In addition, society is losing interest and willingness to respond to traditional surveys, making the good quality and representative datasets needed for this kind of critical decision-making challenging to obtain.

RSG has pioneered smartphone-based GPS survey data collection through our premier location-aware market research application, rMoveTM.

Over 75,000 will have used rMove in 10 languages by the end of 2018.

With this technology, we blend the passively collected data already gathered by our smartphones with customized real-time travel surveys to learn more about travelers’ trips and motivations. Why were they making the trip? Who was with them? Why was the trip different from the day before? Our smartphone surveys seek to capture current behavior (e.g., ride-hailing), emergent behavior (e.g., peer-to-peer car rentals), and help anticipate future behavior (e.g., drone travel).

Information is collected passively and questions are asked in real-time. Surveys are quick engaging, and accessible. This lower burden on respondents means participants participate fully for longer periods. Compared to other methods, this means smartphone-based data collection is more accurate, more engaging, more scalable, and yields more robust results. Learn more about how we’re changing the world of data collection at