DOT Opens Solving for Safety Challenge

DOT said it is opening its different datasets -- many of which are siloed, analyzed separately, and made available only on an annual basis -- and asking data experts to develop tools that can be used to reduce risk. The competition has a $350,000 prize purse.

The U.S. Department of Transportation this week launched a "Solving for Safety: Visualization Challenge," a national multistage competition for local government, data scientists, technologists, academia, and safety experts to analyze risk on the surface transportation system through advanced data analytics. The agency's description said the competition "focuses on encouraging technology firms and safety stakeholders to create data visualizations that illuminate important insights about solving the highway safety problem."

"Under Secretary Chao's leadership, we have continued to make significant progress in transportation safety. Today's announcement asks participants to apply advanced analytics and technological innovations to dramatically improve safety on our roads," Under Secretary for Policy Derek Kan said. "Recent innovations in data analytics and visualization tools give us the potential to understand risk at the system level and to develop tools and discover insights that will lead to new, life-saving strategies that address injuries and fatalities on our roadways."

DOT said it is opening its different datasets -- many of which are siloed, analyzed separately, and made available only on an annual basis -- and asking data experts to develop tools that can be used to reduce risk.

Kan encouraged attendees at the department's Safety Data Forum to join the challenge and develop an analytical visualization tool that helps Solve for Safety. The challenge also invites companies and organizations to participate as Innovation Agents, a resource for Solvers. Innovation Agents are critical to the success of the challenge by providing real world knowledge, guidance, insight, issues, data and recognition of the issue to non-transportation safety populations. A judging panel of technical experts and senior level staff will select finalists and award prizes. Over the next six months, solvers will compete for part of the $350,000 prize purse.

The challenge is part of the department's Safety Data Initiative announced in January, which focuses on data integration, data visualizations, and predictive insights.

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