What is Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations?

Crowdsourcing is focused on employing the collective experience of a number of people to manage a process. Crowdsourced data can be obtained whenever and wherever people travel, allowing agencies to capture in real time what happens between sensors, in rural regions, along arterials, and beyond jurisdictional boundaries. Agencies at all levels can use crowdsourced data integrated from multiple streams to optimize roadway use for reduced congestion and increased safety and reliability.

State and local transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) programs strive to optimize the use of existing roadway facilities through traveler information, incident management, road weather management, arterial management, and other strategies targeting the causes of congestion. TSMO programs require real-time, high-quality, and wide-ranging roadway information. However, gaps in geographic coverage, lags in information timeliness, and life-cycle costs for field equipment can limit agencies' ability to operate the system proactively.


Public agencies at all levels are increasing both their situational awareness and the quality and quantity of operations data using crowdsourcing, which enables staff to apply proactive strategies cost effectively and make better decisions that lead to safer and more reliable travel while protecting privacy and security of individual user data.


Learn more about this EDC-6 Innovation.

How NJ Incorporates Crowdsourcing for Operations

Stage of Innovation: INSTITUTIONALIZED (December 2020)

New Jersey is a leader in this EDC-6 initiative, incorporating crowdsourcing data to advance operations since 2008 through the following activities:

Acquired Two Probe Data Sets. Crowdsourcing data from INRIX and HERE (via TRANSCOM partnership) is used for real-time performance management and traffic monitoring for roadway management and event after actions.

Incorporated Crowdsourcing Data Sets. TRANSCOM tools such as Data Fusion Engine (DFE) and Selected Priorities Applied to Evaluate Links (SPATEL) aggregate all available data sources for operations, analysis, and performance measures.

Piloted a Connected Vehicle Program.  The pilot study funded through a STIC Incentive Grant seeks to protect safety service patrol staff by alerting drivers in real-time of their presence at an incident site through apps such as Waze and Google.

What's Next?

Through EDC-6, New Jersey will continue to enhance their TRANSCOM systems to improve response time and clearance, while also evaluating the effectiveness of WAZE crowdsourcing data available via TRANSCOM OpenReach system to support the Traffic Operations Center and incident detection.

Probe data has proven invaluable in monitoring real-time traffic conditions along all NJ roadways and provides NJDOT with the capability to push travel times to regional dynamic messaging signs.  NJDOT Planning also uses the RITIS platform to evaluate system performance per MAP-21 standards.

Click for the Crowdsourcing for Operations Fact Sheet.


Image of an intersection at night, a long exposure has made the cars driving by appear as lines of light

Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series 

Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations is one of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives for the 2021-2022 round. The program is looking ...
Highway Crowdsourcing

STIC Incentive Grant Award: Crowdsourcing Traffic Data to Optimize Roadway Monitoring

The Federal Highway Administration recently awarded the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) a $55,000 State Transportation Improvement Council (STIC) incentive grant for the purpose ...

DVRPC’s Sidewalk Inventory and Crowdsourcing Platform

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is seeking to understand the region’s pedestrian infrastructure through the development of an online inventory, map, and platform ...

Final Report Released for the Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Distributing Road Service Safety Messages from Safety Service Patrols

NJDOT’s top priority is to improve highway safety. To support this goal, in September 2018, New Jersey began a pilot study of the effectiveness of ...

How SJTPO Refined Their Congestion Management Process with Crowdsourced Data

Through the Everyday Counts (EDC) program, FHWA identifies and deploys established but underutilized innovations through a state-based model, with the goals of streamlining project delivery, ...

Tech Talk! Webinar: Crowdsourcing for Local Operations

The NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Tech Talk! Webinar, Crowdsourcing for Local Operations, that illustrated how local agencies are working, often with state partners, ...

Connected Vehicles Program Pilot Testing of Technology for Safety Service Patrol Workers Continues

The pilot study continues to examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...

Making Work Zones Smarter: Data-Driven Decision Making

In honor of Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, the NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Lunchtime Tech Talk, “Making Work Zones Smarter: Data-Driven Decision Making” ...

New Jersey Pilots Connected Vehicles Program to Protect Safety Service Patrol Staff

This study will examine the effectiveness of connected vehicle technology to alert motorists to Safety Service Patrol (SSP) workers at an incident site. ...

Posted in Innovative Initiative and tagged , , , .