NJDOT Wins 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

New Jersey Department of Transportation has been recognized with a 2022 America’s Transportation Award in the category of best use of technology and innovation. The annual competition is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. NJDOT’s project, Implementation of Drivewyze on 647 miles of NJ’s Highways, involves the use of crowdsourced data to get more information into the hands of drivers about changing roadway conditions to inform their decision making in an effort to reduce crashes.  Commercial vehicle alerts inform truck drivers of hazards on the road, such as sudden slowdowns, disabled vehicles, debris, and adverse weather conditions, before the truck is affected by the incident. The driver can seek an alternate route or pull over until the slowdown is cleared. New Jersey’s project was highlighted in the November/December 2022 FHWA Innovator along with other State DOT winning innovations.  

For more information, go to:  

America’s Transportation Awards
https://americastransportationawards.org/new-jersey-department-of-transportation-implementation-of-drivewyze-on-647-miles-of-njs-highways/

NJ STIC Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations
https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/2021/01/01/crowdsourcing-for-advancing-operations/

Drivewyze Dashboard. Courtesy of Drivewyze.

NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative Featured in National Operations for Excellence Webinar

Commercial vehicle safety-related alerts can notify drivers of major slowdowns from incidents and weather to inform decision-making. Source: Sblover99, Wikimedia

The National Operations Center for Excellence held a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced data to deliver real-time information to commercial vehicles to improve the safety of all road users.  Transportation agencies can now deliver in-cab alerts about road conditions through connected truck service providers to help commercial vehicle drivers approach and react more quickly to roadway incidents, work zones, and adverse weather conditions.

For this event, the NJDOT’s Senior Director for Transportation Mobility, Sal Cowan, gave a presentation, “NJDOT Using Crowdsourced Data to Improve Road Safety:  Real Time Communications with Truck Drivers”.  He was joined in making this presentation by NJDOT's private sector partners for this initiative, Amy Lopez, Director, Public Sector Services and Smart City Strategy for INRIX, and Marc Nichols, Director, Government & Industry Partnerships for Drivewyze.

As traffic deaths rise, NJDOT wants to get more information into the hands of drivers about changing roadway conditions – the earlier the better – to inform their decision making in an effort to reduce crashes.  Summoning the key phrase, “Whatever It Takes”, Director Cowan framed the life-saving imperative behind NJDOT's willingness to make greater use of crowdsourcing and real-time data tools to reduce the risk of crashes.  He highlighted how commercial vehicle alerts can inform truck drivers of hazards on the road, such as sudden slowdowns, disabled vehicles, and debris before the truck is affected by the incident. The driver can seek an alternate route or pull over until the slowdown is cleared.

INRIX collects extensive traffic data for state transportation agencies. They provide two types of alerts: "curated" incidents are from multiple sources such as DOTs, Twitter feeds, Waze, police scanners and other sources that are managed by the INRIX incident team; and "calculated" incidents such as dangerous or sudden slowdowns that are mathematically calculated by INRIX and compare real time speeds with free flow speeds at specific segment locations to identify abnormal conditions. The INRIX system has the ability to deliver real-time data that detects and describes sudden slowdowns, closures, and queues by location for specific events. This data is passed on to Drivewyze to send out alerts.

Drivewyze, introduced as North America’s largest connected truck network, provides communication with some 2.8 million trucks via its Drivewyze application which is embedded in the electronic logging device (ELD) of the truck. Drivewyze takes data from INRIX and communicates it to commercial truck drivers. The system works with severity thresholds and trigger warnings so only events that exceed these thresholds are reported. Commercial drivers receive the messages through the ELD in their cab. The reported information can be customized to include notification of specific weather events, incidents, work zones, and bridge and road closures.

A "major winter storm alert" was distributed to several states in the Northeast and reached some 4,811 trucks at a critical time.

NJDOT plays a pivotal role in providing weather and detour related data. Through this partnership NJDOT can collect extensive data regarding issues and incidents that it otherwise could not directly obtain.  This allows the state to identify areas along key highways that produce issues and NJDOT can then begin to identify ways to resolve them. In addition to analysis, NJDOT can work proactively with is partners to prevent crashes.  During Winter Storm Kenan, NJDOT was able to send alerts out through Drivewyze to thousands of trucks across the Northeast to alert drivers to a major winter storm and hazardous road conditions and to take precautions.

The webinar, part of the FHWA's Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series, had two featured presentations on initiatives to address commercial vehicle safety through crowdsourcing.  The webinar explored lessons from New Jersey, Colorado and other states through presentations and information exchange with attendees from the FHWA, other state DOTs, and private sector partners.  To learn more about the New Jersey initiative and the capabilities of its private sector partners, check out the full presentation here, starting at the 29th minute.   The presentations given by the NJ team and other presenters can be downloaded here.

National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

The National Operations Center for Excellence will hold a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced data to deliver real-time information to commercial vehicles to improve the safety of all road users.  Transportation agencies can now deliver in-cab alerts about road conditions through connected truck service providers to help commercial vehicle drivers approach and react more quickly to roadway incidents, work zones, and adverse weather conditions. Follow this link to register for the Crowdsourced Data for Commercial Vehicles webinar.

At the 1st Quarter 2022 STIC meeting, attendees received a briefing about the Commercial Vehicle Alerts initiative being undertaken by NJDOT and its several partners to proactively deploy alerts to improve safety and traffic incident management. Sal Cowan, NJDOT Senior Director, Transportation Mobility, was joined by Amy Lopez, Director, Public Sector Services and Smart City Strategy for INRIX, and Marc Nichols, Director, Government & Industry Partnerships for Drivewyze.

For more information about the Commercial Vehicle Alerts initiative, their presentation is here and a summary of the NJ STIC meeting that includes a recording of their featured presentation is here.

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 for innovative solutions to integrating low-cost data, such as information from smartphones or connected vehicles, into transportation systems management and operations (TSMO). To support this effort, FHWA is offering “Adventures in Crowdsourcing”, a series of virtual events with industry leaders sharing their knowledge and solutions.  More information on this EDC-6 Initiative, including case studies is available here.  

This webinar series restarts in May 2022 with several monthly webinars listed below. Click on the links below to watch previous events or learn more about upcoming events and register.

Visit the Adventures in Crowdsourcing webinar page to view past webinars, or click on one of the links below to view a specific webinar.

FHWA contacts for Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations are James Colyar (james.colyar@dot.gov), Greg Jones (GregM.Jones@dot.gov), and Ralph Volpe (Ralph.Volpe@dot.gov).  

Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations

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.

Benefits

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 Advancing Operations

Stage of Innovation: INSTITUTIONALIZED
(June 2022)

The NJDOT is institutionalized in its use of vehicle probe data to support traffic incident/operations management and planning for operations. New Jersey has been a leader in using crowdsourcing data to advance operations since 2008. The following activities occurred in under previous EDC rounds:

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?

NJDOT formed a collaboration with Drivewyze, an information service provider able to provide connected truck services including a real-time truck alert system to improve safety and reduce commercial vehicle crashes.

The real-time trucking alert system was deployed in January 2022.  The alert system helps truck drivers to react more quickly before encountering stopped traffic and major slowdowns within the corridor including taking alternate routes to relieve congestion bottlenecks during major incidents.

NJDOT, along with its private sector providers, have made presentations and highlighted lessons and benefits of the initiative in webinars and with the NJ STIC.

Click for the Crowdsourcing for Operations Fact Sheet.

CROWDSOURCING FOR ADVANCING OPERATIONS: NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

NJDOT Wins 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

NJDOT Wins 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

New Jersey Department of Transportation has been recognized with a 2022 America’s Transportation Award in the category of best use of technology and innovation. ...
NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative Featured in National Operations for Excellence Webinar

NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative Featured in National Operations for Excellence Webinar

The National Operations Center for Excellence held a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced data ...
National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

The National Operations Center for Excellence will hold a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced ...
Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series 

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

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