In recent years, probe data generated by fleet vehicles and travelers themselves is being aggregated by third-party data providers and offered to agencies as comprehensive, real-time speed data. Before third-party data became available, the costs associated with deployment and maintenance of detectors often limited the coverage area for which state and local DOTs could monitor traffic. The benefits of this new probe/speed data include statewide coverage without the need for wide scale deployment of detectors. As many agencies have begun to use real-time speed data from third-party providers, the uses of the data have increased.
This ENTERPRISE project “Assess Speed Data for Traffic Management” first involved conducting an online search and contacting individuals at agencies to gather information on the use of real-time third-party speed data in operations. Then, these findings were analyzed to document and share common practices, challenges, and solutions to these challenges. Specifically, the objectives of this project included efforts to understand:
- Which DOTs are using the real-time speed data provided by third-party providers?
- How are DOTs using the data, especially for real-time traffic operations?
- What benefits are DOTs recognizing from the data?
- What challenges are DOTs facing (e.g., conflation of data) and how have these been addressed?
- How is speed data being combined with detector data, and what is the potential for speed data to supplement a more limited deployment of detectors for volume collection?