Crowdsourcing in transport research

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The Challenge

The NZ Transport Agency commissioned this research to investigate the potential for real-time crowdsourced information and technologies to support traveller information. The NZ Transport Agency also wanted to understand which technologies and information sources showed the most potential and what could be done to support these initiatives in New Zealand.

The Solution

As part of Abley's research solution, we conducted a literature and technology review and interviewed stakeholders from central government, local government, traffic operations centres, transport user groups and technology firms. The research explored matters such as privacy, use of in-vehicle devices, data collection and storage, the use of incentives, data quality assurance and institutional barriers to new technologies. The research also included undertaking a trial of a web application for reporting winter road conditions in the Queenstown-Lakes District.

The Outcome

The research resulted in several conclusions and recommendations, including identifying a supporting link between how information is provided through traveller information systems, and how it is collected (eg crowdsourcing). Applications that support both methods will be more successful than crowdsourcing alone. Extensive recommendations into how crowdsourced data can be validated and trusted are also provided, including methods such as understanding who is providing the information and how the spatial location is recorded.

The full research report is available for download  from the NZ Transport Agency website.

Business Area: Crowdsourcing, Research, ITSSpatial Solutions

crwodsourcing research Dale