Virginia launches SmarterRoads cloud-based traffic data portal initiative


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has launched SmarterRoads, a new cloud-based data portal initiative that provides free, widespread access to a wealth of the agency’s information for anyone wishing to create value-added transportation applications and products for end users.

The SmarterRoads initiative provides direct access to roadway and transportation information that is beyond currently available VDOT traffic operations data, in one portal site. Through the creation of the SmarterRoads portal, VDOT is accelerating connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology development in Virginia by sharing transportation data with third-party sector business, application developers and university partners. Once users accept the SmarterRoads usage agreement, they can create an account and subscribe to as many as 22 different data sets.

While SmarterRoads will undergo phased enhancement roll-outs, initial data sets include: traffic volumes, speed limits, travel advisories, lane closures, crashes, truck restrictions, traffic sensors, incidents, sign messages and locations, paving schedules, short- and long-term weather events, Six-Year Improvement Plan major road construction, and Signal Phase and Timing data.

Anticipated audiences for the comprehensive sets of highly detailed data include app and software developers, the CAV industry, the automotive industry, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), transit operators, ITS industry companies, universities and researchers, other departments of transportation (DOTs) and federal, state and local agencies. Feedback can be submitted through the SmarterRoads portal. VDOT will continue to simplify the process to add new users and expand data offerings to meet new development needs.

“The SmarterRoads initiative supports Governor McAuliffe’s goal of optimizing opportunities for innovative collaboration and investment in Virginia’s transportation system,” explained VDOT commissioner, Charles Kilpatrick. “The agency recognizes the expertise of private sector technology firms to help us improve our transportation network and capabilities. SmarterRoads is another example of the agency’s commitment to innovation, sound stewardship of public dollars, and providing taxpayers with the highest quality of customer service.”

VDOT’s chief of innovation, Rob Cary, commented, “Our goal is to maximize the availability and transparency of transportation data through this open portal. By encouraging auto and equipment manufacturers, application and business development, we will unleash information for the private sector to provide new and enhanced services. This innovative use of transportation information will improve safety, enhance our transportation network, enhance customer service and improve our quality of life in Virginia.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).