Virginia hopes the analytics system will improve traffic conditions and safety using data collected by smart vehicles and other connected devices.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced it is expanding its transportation analytics program statewide. The program uses big data collected from mobile devices, connected vehicles, GPS devices, and other traffic monitoring services to produce real-time traffic information.
According to Statescoop, Virginia officials began the analytics effort in 2016 and said after a year of use, the state saved over $14 million.Now that effort will be extended to cities and counties all across the state with the goal of improving transportation decision making and reducing traffic congestion.
“We now have the ability to collect up-to-date mobility data for any project, no matter the size,” said Nick Donohue, Virginia’s deputy secretary of transportation in a press release. “This power and flexibility help us maximize our efficiency and gain a better overall understanding of how our state moves.”
The VODT uses mobility analytics company Streetlight Data. The company has been working with the state since 2015. Using the data it collected, the VDOT has conducted over 360 studies using StreeLight’s data platform. It is currently using collected data to study ways to decongest the busy 1-95 corridor and other major roadways in the state. Other studies will include the development of regional travel demand models and monitoring the effects that heavy and medium duty trucks have on traffic patterns.
StreetLight Data CEO Laura Schewel told StateScoop the solution is all about “unwrapping the mystery of traffic” and finding practical solutions. “Sometimes, Schewel said, there instances in which traffic appears seemingly without cause, but the platform has the power to identify the exact cause within about two minutes. Depending on the results of that very targeted analysis, the platform tells you what solutions will be the most effective in terms of reducing that traffic jam.”