Road Traffic Accidents Analysis in Mexico City through Crowdsourcing Data and Data Mining Techniques


Paper by Gabriela V. Angeles et al: “Road traffic accidents are among the principal causes of traffic congestion, causing human losses, damages to health and the environment, economic losses and material damages. Studies about traditional road traffic accidents in urban zones represents very high inversion of time and money, additionally, the result are not current.

However, nowadays in many countries, the crowdsourced GPS based traffic and navigation apps have emerged as an important source of information to low cost to studies of road traffic accidents and urban congestion caused by them. In this article we identified the zones, roads and specific time in the CDMX in which the largest number of road traffic accidents are concentrated during 2016. We built a database compiling information obtained from the social network known as Waze.

The methodology employed was Discovery of knowledge in the database (KDD) for the discovery of patterns in the accidents reports. Furthermore, using data mining techniques with the help of Weka. The selected algorithms was the Maximization of Expectations (EM) to obtain the number ideal of clusters for the data and k-means as a grouping method. Finally, the results were visualized with the Geographic Information System QGIS….(More)”.

Mobility Data Sharing: Challenges and Policy Recommendations


Paper by Mollie D’Agostino, Paige Pellaton, and Austin Brown: “Dynamic and responsive transportation systems are a core pillar of equitable and sustainable communities. Achieving such systems requires comprehensive mobility data, or data that reports the movement of individuals and vehicles. Such data enable planners and policymakers to make informed decisions and enable researchers to model the effects of various transportation solutions. However, collecting mobility data also raises concerns about privacy and proprietary interests.

This issue paper provides an overview of the top needs and challenges surrounding mobility data sharing and presents four relevant policy strategies: (1) Foster voluntary agreement among mobility providers for a set of standardized data specifications; (2) Develop clear data-sharing requirements designed for transportation network companies and other mobility providers; (3) Establish publicly held big-data repositories, managed by third parties, to securely hold mobility data and provide structured access by states, cities, and researchers; (4) Leverage innovative land-use and transportation-planning tools….(More)”.

Traffic Data Is Good for More than Just Streets, Sidewalks


Skip Descant at Government Technology: “The availability of highly detailed daily traffic data is clearly an invaluable resource for traffic planners, but it can also help officials overseeing natural lands or public works understand how to better manage those facilities.

The Natural Communities Coalition, a conservation nonprofit in southern California, began working with the traffic analysis firm StreetLight Data in early 2018 to study the impacts from the thousands of annual visitors to 22 parks and natural lands. StreetLight Data’s use of de-identified cellphone data held promise for the project, which will continue into early 2020.

“You start to see these increases,” Milan Mitrovich, science director for the Natural Communities Coalition, said of the uptick in visitor activity the data showed. “So being able to have this information, and share it with our executive committee… these folks, they’re seeing it for the first time.”…

Officials with the Natural Communities Coalition were able to use the StreetLight data to gain insights into patterns of use not only per day, but at different times of the day. The data also told researchers where visitors were traveling from, a detail park officials found “jaw-dropping.”

“What we were able to see is, these resources, these natural areas, cast an incredible net across southern California,” said Mitrovich, noting visitors come from not only Orange County, but Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties as well, a region of more than 20 million residents.

The data also allows officials to predict traffic levels during certain parts of the week, times of day or even holidays….(More)”.

Stop the Open Data Bus, We Want to Get Off


Paper by Chris Culnane, Benjamin I. P. Rubinstein, and Vanessa Teague: “The subject of this report is the re-identification of individuals in the Myki public transport dataset released as part of the Melbourne Datathon 2018. We demonstrate the ease with which we were able to re-identify ourselves, our co-travellers, and complete strangers; our analysis raises concerns about the nature and granularity of the data released, in particular the ability to identify vulnerable or sensitive groups…..

This work highlights how a large number of passengers could be re-identified in the 2018 Myki data release, with detailed discussion of specific people. The implications of re-identification are potentially serious: ex-partners, one-time acquaintances, or other parties can determine places of home, work, times of travel, co-travelling patterns—presenting risk to vulnerable groups in particular…

In 2018 the Victorian Government released a large passenger centric transport dataset to a data science competition—the 2018 Melbourne Datathon. Access to the data was unrestricted, with a URL provided on the datathon’s website to download the complete dataset from an Amazon S3 Bucket. Over 190 teams continued to analyse the data through the 2 month competition period. The data consisted of touch on and touch off events for the Myki smart card ticketing system used throughout the state of Victoria, Australia. With such data, contestants would be able to apply retrospective analyses on an entire public transport system, explore suitability of predictive models, etc.

The Myki ticketing system is used across Victorian public transport: on trains, buses and trams. The dataset was a longitudinal dataset, consisting of touch on and touch off events from Week 27 in 2015 through to Week 26 in 2018. Each event contained a card identifier (cardId; not the actual card number), the card type, the time of the touch on or off, and various location information, for example a stop ID or route ID, along with other fields which we omit here for brevity. Events could be indexed by the cardId and as such, all the events associated with a single card could be retrieved. There are a total of 15,184,336 cards in the dataset—more than twice the 2018 population of Victoria. It appears that all touch on and off events for metropolitan trains and trams have been included, though other forms of transport such as intercity trains and some buses are absent. In total there are nearly 2 billion touch on and off events in the dataset.

No information was provided as to the de-identification that was performed on the dataset. Our analysis indicates that little to no de-identification took place on the bulk of the data, as will become evident in Section 3. The exception is the cardId, which appears to have been mapped in some way from the Myki Card Number. The exact mapping has not been discovered, although concerns remain as to its security effectiveness….(More)”.

Open Mobility Foundation


Press Release: “The Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) – a global coalition led by cities committed to using well-designed, open-source technology to evolve how cities manage transportation in the modern era – launched today with the mission to promote safety, equity and quality of life. The announcement comes as a response to the growing number of vehicles and emerging mobility options on city streets. A new city-governed non-profit, the OMF brings together academic, commercial, advocacy and municipal stakeholders to help cities develop and deploy new digital mobility tools, and provide the governance needed to efficiently manage them.

“Cities are always working to harness the power of technology for the public good. The Open Mobility Foundation will help us manage emerging transportation infrastructures, and make mobility more accessible and affordable for people in all of our communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also serves as Advisory Council Chair of Accelerator for America, which showcased the MDS platform early on.

The OMF convenes a new kind of public-private forum to seed innovative ideas and govern an evolving software platform. Serving as a forum for discussions about pedestrian safety, privacy, equity, open-source governance and other related topics, the OMF has engaged a broad range of city and municipal organizations, private companies and non-profit groups, and experts and advocates to ensure comprehensive engagement and expertise on vital issues….

The OMF governs a platform called “Mobility Data Specification” (MDS) that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation developed to help manage dockless micro-mobility programs (including shared dockless e-scooters). MDS is comprised of a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that create standard communications between cities and private companies to improve their operations. The APIs allow cities to collect data that can inform real-time traffic management and public policy decisions to enhance safety, equity and quality of life. More than 50 cities across the United States – and dozens across the globe – already use MDS to manage micro-mobility services.

Making this software open and free offers a safe and efficient environment for stakeholders, including municipalities, companies, experts and the public, to solve problems together. And because private companies scale best when cities can offer a consistent playbook for innovation, the OMF aims to nurture those services that provide the highest benefit to the largest number of people, from sustainability to safety outcomes….(More)”

Gender gaps in urban mobility


Paper (preprint) by Laetitia Gauvin, Michele Tizzoni, Simone Piaggesi, Andrew Young, Natalia Adler, Stefaan Verhulst, Leo Ferres, and Ciro Cattuto: “The use of public transportation or simply moving about in streets are gendered issues. Women and girls often engage in multi-purpose, multi-stop trips in order to do household chores, work, and study (‘trip chaining’). Women-headed households are often more prominent in urban settings and they tend to work more in low-paid/informal jobs than men, with limited access to transportation subsidies. Here we present recent results on urban mobility from a gendered perspective by uniquely combining a wide range of datasets, including commercial sources of telecom and open data. We explored urban mobility of women and men in the greater metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile, by analyzing the mobility traces extracted from the Call Detail Records (CDRs) of a large cohort of anonymized mobile phone users over a period of 3 months. We find that, taking into account the differences in users’ calling behaviors, women move less than men, visiting less unique locations and distributing their time less equally among such locations. By mapping gender differences in mobility over the 52 comunas of Santiago, we find a higher mobility gap to be correlated with socio-economic indicators, such as a lower average income, and with the lack of public and private transportation options. Such results provide new insights for policymakers to design more gender inclusive transportation plans in the city of Santiago….(More)”.

Access to Data in Connected Cars and the Recent Reform of the Motor Vehicle Type Approval Regulation


Paper by Wolfgang Kerber and Daniel Moeller: “The need for regulatory solutions for access to in-vehicle data and resources of connected cars is one of the big controversial and unsolved policy issues. Last year the EU revised the Motor Vehicle Type Approval Regulation which already entailed a FRAND-like solution for the access to repair and maintenance information (RMI) to protect competition on the automotive aftermarkets. However, the transition to connected cars changes the technological conditions for this regulatory solution significantly. This paper analyzes the reform of the type approval regulation and shows that the regulatory solutions for access to RMI are so far only very insufficiently capable of dealing with the challenges coming along with increased connectivity, e.g. with regard to the new remote diagnostic, repair and maintenance services. Therefore, an important result of the paper is that the transition to connected cars will require a further reform of the rules for the regulated access to RMI (esp. with regard to data access, interoperability, and safety/security issues). However, our analysis also suggests that the basic approach of the current regulated access regime for RMI in the type approval regulation can also be a model for developing general solutions for the currently unsolved problems of access to in-vehicle data and resources in the ecosystem of connected driving….(More)”.

EU countries and car manufacturers to share information to improve road safety


Press Release: “EU member states, car manufacturers and navigation systems suppliers will share information on road conditions with the aim of improving road safety. Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, agreed this today with four other EU countries during the ITS European Congress in Eindhoven. These agreements mean that millions of motorists in the Netherlands will have access to more information on unsafe road conditions along their route.

The data on road conditions that is registered by modern cars is steadily improving. For instance, information on iciness, wrong-way drivers and breakdowns in emergency lanes. This kind of data can be instantly shared with road authorities and other vehicles following the same route. Drivers can then adapt their driving behaviour appropriately so that accidents and delays are prevented….

The partnership was announced today at the ITS European Congress, the largest European event in the fields of smart mobility and the digitalisation of transport. Among other things, various demonstrations were given on how sharing this type of data contributes to road safety. In the year ahead, the car manufacturers BMW, Volvo, Ford and Daimler, the EU member states Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain and Luxembourg, and navigation system suppliers TomTom and HERE will be sharing data. This means that millions of motorists across the whole of Europe will receive road safety information in their car. Talks on participating in the partnership are also being conducted with other European countries and companies.

ADAS

At the ITS congress, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen and several dozen parties today also signed an agreement on raising awareness of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and their safe use. Examples of ADAS include automatic braking systems, and blind spot detection and lane keeping systems. Using these driver assistance systems correctly makes driving a car safer and more sustainable. The agreement therefore also includes the launch of the online platform “slimonderweg.nl” where road users can share information on the benefits and risks of ADAS.
Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen: “Motorists are often unaware of all the capabilities modern cars offer. Yet correctly using driver assistance systems really can increase road safety. From today, dozens of parties are going to start working on raising awareness of ADAS and improving and encouraging the safe use of such systems so that more motorists can benefit from them.”

Connected Transport Corridors

Today at the congress, progress was also made regarding the transport of goods. For example, at the end of this year lorries on three transport corridors in our country will be sharing logistics data. This involves more than just information on environmental zones, availability of parking, recommended speeds and predicted arrival times at terminals. Other new technologies will be used in practice on a large scale, including prioritisation at smart traffic lights and driving in convoy. Preparatory work on the corridors around Amsterdam and Rotterdam and in the southern Netherlands has started…..(More)”.

107 Years Later, The Titanic Sinking Helps Train Problem-Solving AI


Kiona N. Smith at Forbes: “What could the 107-year-old tragedy of the Titanic possibly have to do with modern problems like sustainable agriculture, human trafficking, or health insurance premiums? Data turns out to be the common thread. The modern world, for better or or worse, increasingly turns to algorithms to look for patterns in the data and and make predictions based on those patterns. And the basic methods are the same whether the question they’re trying to answer is “Would this person survive the Titanic sinking?” or “What are the most likely routes for human trafficking?”

An Enduring Problem

Predicting survival at sea based on the Titanic dataset is a standard practice problem for aspiring data scientists and programmers. Here’s the basic challenge: feed your algorithm a portion of the Titanic passenger list, which includes some basic variables describing each passenger and their fate. From that data, the algorithm (if you’ve programmed it well) should be able to draw some conclusions about which variables made a person more likely to live or die on that cold April night in 1912. To test its success, you then give the algorithm the rest of the passenger list (minus the outcomes) and see how well it predicts their fates.

Online communities like Kaggle.com have held competitions to see who can develop the algorithm that predicts survival most accurately, and it’s also a common problem presented to university classes. The passenger list is big enough to be useful, but small enough to be manageable for beginners. There’s a simple set out of outcomes — life or death — and around a dozen variables to work with, so the problem is simple enough for beginners to tackle but just complex enough to be interesting. And because the Titanic’s story is so famous, even more than a century later, the problem still resonates.

“It’s interesting to see that even in such a simple problem as the Titanic, there are nuggets,” said Sagie Davidovich, Co-Founder & CEO of SparkBeyond, who used the Titanic problem as an early test for SparkBeyond’s AI platform and still uses it as a way to demonstrate the technology to prospective customers….(More)”.

Using street imagery and crowdsourcing internet marketplaces to measure motorcycle helmet use in Bangkok, Thailand


Hasan S. Merali, Li-Yi Lin, Qingfeng Li, and Kavi Bhalla in Injury Prevention: “The majority of Thailand’s road traffic deaths occur on motorised two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicles. Accurately measuring helmet use is important for the evaluation of new legislation and enforcement. Current methods for estimating helmet use involve roadside observation or surveillance of police and hospital records, both of which are time-consuming and costly. Our objective was to develop a novel method of estimating motorcycle helmet use.

Using Google Maps, 3000 intersections in Bangkok were selected at random. At each intersection, hyperlinks of four images 90° apart were extracted. These 12 000 images were processed in Amazon Mechanical Turk using crowdsourcing to identify images containing motorcycles. The remaining images were sorted manually to determine helmet use.

After processing, 462 unique motorcycle drivers were analysed. The overall helmet wearing rate was 66.7 % (95% CI 62.6 % to 71.0 %). …

This novel method of estimating helmet use has produced results similar to traditional methods. Applying this technology can reduce time and monetary costs and could be used anywhere street imagery is used. Future directions include automating this process through machine learning….(More)”.