city transportation (metamorworks/

Promoting traffic safety through data visualization

The Department of Transportation wants to help policymakers, transportation providers and the public better understand transportation safety through data visualizations.

Solving for Safety: Visualization Challenge calls for new tools to analyze transportation safety systems.  DOT is looking for two classes of tools: first "discover insight tools" to offer visualizations of trends in agency data and "simulation tools" that allow users to easily shift and adjust data in simulation and probability models to assist in decision making.

The tools can be image analysis solutions, dashboards that tap into disparate datasets, maps that rely on spatial analysis, virtual or augmented reality scenarios or social media mining. Participants can use data from DOT or other resources.

Officials want competitors to focus on vulnerable users (like pedestrians and cyclists), accidents at conflict points (like intersections or rail crossings) and high risk-factors (including young drivers and people driving under the influence). The department also wants to better understand how factors like weather, time of day and road conditions affect safety.

“Recent innovations in data analytics and visualization tools give us the potential to understand risk at the system level, and to develop tools and discover insights that will lead to new, life-saving strategies that address injuries and fatalities on our roadways,” the agency's Undersecretary for Policy Derek Kan said.

In the first stage participants will submit their ideas. Four competitors will go onto the second round where they will develop a proof-of-concept. There is $350,000 worth of prize money that will be distributed between the second and third stages of the competition.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a former reporter for GCN.


  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Records management is about to get harder

    New collaboration technologies ramped up in the wake of the pandemic have introduced some new challenges.

  • puzzled employee (fizkes/

    Phish Scale: Weighing the threat from email scammers

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Phish Scale quantifies characteristics of phishing emails that are likely to trick users.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.