Understanding and Using New Data Sources to Address Urban and Metropolitan Freight Challenges
National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP) Project 49
Transportation Research Board (TRB)
The rapid explosion of new freight data sources is creating significant opportunities for more effective and well-targeted planning and operation of roadways, particularly in urban and metropolitan areas. This research explored how new sources of freight data, including “big data” from smart cities initiatives, crowd-sourcing (e.g., via smartphones, vehicle fleet tracking), sensors (e.g., vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle), and cameras are being or could be used to address urban and metropolitan freight challenges.
The specific objectives of this research were four-fold:
- Problem: Understand persistent urban and metropolitan freight challenges facing transportation agencies
- Opportunity: Identify and assess new and emerging freight data sources
- Applications: Assess the analytical approaches and techniques that could employ these new data sources to address freight challenges
- Value Proposition: Recommend how agencies can leverage new data sources and analytics while overcoming practical and institutional challenges
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