DOT Announces Transportation Safety Data Initiative, Pilot Programs

The U.S. Department of Transportation is launching a multi-modal initiative, including two pilot programs to modernize its data analysis and integrate its traditional data sets with new "big data" sources to gain insights into transportation safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is launching a multi-modal initiative, including two pilot programs to modernize its data analysis and integrate its traditional data sets with new "big data" sources to gain insights into transportation safety. The initiative was announced Jan. 8.

One pilot project will integrate established data on known crashes and highway design with anonymous data from GPS-enabled devices that provides prevailing speeds at 5-minute intervals across the entire National Highway System. In 2016, 10,111 roadway deaths involved speed. This project will allow DOT to look directly at prevailing operating speeds at a large scale to see how speed interacts with roadway characteristics to influence the likelihood of crashes. It will also look at the role of speed in rural incidents.

The second pilot project will integrate traffic crash data with data on traffic hazards and conditions from the crowd-sourced app Waze. It will examine the feasibility of using this new crowd-sourcing application to provide a reliable, timely indicator of reportable traffic crashes, and estimate crash risk based on Waze-reported hazards.

The pilot projects represent a new approach to data analysis seeking to augment traditional data sources with new data that can be collected and analyzed much faster. This approach will create new multi-dimensional models of the transportation. Its initial focus is on gaining insights that will help reduce highway fatalities.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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