SmarterRoads: Virginia’s public-private transportation data sharing strategy

By Logan Dredske

The Virginia Department of Transportation has launched a public cloud-based data portal that contains a vast array of state transportation data. The portal is named “SmarterRoads” and will be available to anyone who creates a free account. VDOT hopes that by creating access to state transportation data, it will “optimize opportunities for innovative collaboration and investment in Virginia’s transportation system,” said VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. Information contained in the portal includes average daily traffic, crashes, signal data, vehicle miles traveled, and speed limits.

Open source data allows private sector companies to access, understand, and utilize raw data that previously only government agencies could access. “By encouraging auto and equipment manufacturers, application and business development, we will unleash information for the private sector to provide new and enhanced services,” said VDOT Chief of Innovation Rob Cary. VDOT is hoping that in return, the new and enhanced services will aid future management of their transportation networks.

SmarterRoads data portal specifically aims to increase the development of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology in the state; transparent data will allow manufacturers to further elicit CAV research for the state. Other public-private partnerships are also forming in the state as the age of driverless cars approaches.

VDOT’s data is collected via a network of sensors and systems. SmarterRoads continuously connects to the data sets and makes the latest data available to subscribers. The design of the portal allows users to constantly have access to the most current transportation data. Currently the portal contains 24 different data sets for users to utilize.

Logan Dredske is a Project Assistant at SSTI.