How data sharing revs up mobility decisions
What’s the expected usage for rural EV charging stations? A new data platform lets transportation managers predict energy savings for mobility programs from shared program data.
State and local governments looking for transportation and mobility-related data to help them with decision-making around new mobility technologies can tap into the U.S. Department of Energy's Livewire Data Platform. The expanding, unified platform features data from federal, regional, local, academic and industry projects and allows easy and secure access for sharing, leveraging and preserving mobility data.
The platform was developed in 2019 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a consortium of multiple national laboratories, but it is now available to anyone who requests an account. For data contributors, Livewire provides a secure location on an Amazon Web Services cloud for up to 10 TB of data per project, a way to increase the visibility of their projects, see metrics on access and easily discover related data.
Livewire currently features over 330 datasets from DOE Energy Efficient Mobility Systems program projects. It features a range of datasets at the vehicle, traveler and system levels, allowing researchers to study how advanced technologies—such as connected, automated and electric vehicles, alternative fueling infrastructure, rural electrification or multimodal transportation—affect energy consumption.
To better understand travel choices related to new modes of mobility, for example, researchers can tap into datasets on travel behavior, technology adoption and smartphones and filter by project. Traffic managers can access experimental or modeled data to help them validate traffic simulations. Telematics data can help explain vehicle behavior under different road and traffic conditions.
Each project has its own page on Livewire that lists and describes the project's corresponding datasets. Users can filter the datasets by participating organization—or source of the data—as well as by keyword and data access method. Data contributors can choose who can view and access their project information and data.
"The Livewire Data Platform reduces barriers to sharing important research data," Lauren Spath Luhring, an NREL transportation software engineer and project leader, told NREL News. "It makes data discoverable and takes the burden off data owners who might not be experts in data management solutions. Through Livewire, their data are accessible to more people without having to worry about managing security."
In the last year, Livewire’s catalog of projects and available datasets has grown by 48%, and the number of people with accounts increased by 46%, NREL officials said. Going forward, the Livewire team is working to improve search functions and to includes its data in U.S. Transportation Department’s open data catalog through partnership.
"Our goal is to leverage existing open-source pipelines to standardize and integrate datasets in near real time and provide a platform to use machine-learning-based approaches to explore, visualize, and analyze data," said Chitra Sivaraman, a data integration team leader at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of the national labs supporting Livewire.