NACTO and the Open Transport Partnership launch SharedStreets data platform

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The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Open Transport Partnership have launched SharedStreets, a first-of-its-kind transportation data standard and platform for public-private partnerships.

The platform allows cities to work with companies to manage streets, reduce traffic deaths, and prepare for the unprecedented technological advancement emerging in cities’ transportation networks.

Currently, street-level data standards used by private companies and public agencies are incompatible, limiting the utility of current and future data-sharing agreements. The SharedStreets data standard provides a new, global, non-proprietary system for describing streets that is designed to be compatible with any source of street data, public or private.

As a ‘connector’, the data standard takes an innovative approach to streets, based around unique, simplified intersection-to-intersection characteristics, rather than relying on a full, complex base map. 

Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and developed by NACTO and the Open Transport Partnership, the full suite of SharedStreets tools also includes a new hub for industry-leading planning and analysis.

Based on the possibilities created by the open SharedStreets data standard, the system provides a neutral, anonymized clearinghouse for data, ensuring that numerous streams of street-level information collected by transportation providers, automotive and technology companies and government agencies, are available for analysis, traffic planning, street design and development of new technologies.

The platform will convert current ad-hoc and disparate transportation data from public and private sector sources into a mutually readable, shared, global standard for the first time, providing a universal language for digitally describing every aspect of city streets, opening a new market to private sector innovators, and eliminating the need to manually ‘clean’ and collate data sources, saving public funds. The data standard is hosted on Github, the world’s largest repository of open-source software.

“The coming autonomous revolution must also be a revolution for cities,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO chair and principal at Bloomberg Associates. “Data will be the most efficient path between two points in the age of autonomous urbanism. SharedStreets will help cities understand their transportation networks and make sure their residents get the most from their streets.”

NACTO’s president, Seleta Reynolds, added, “SharedStreets sets first principles for smart cities and companies to partner rather than compete, as we design streets to work for everyone.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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