Public challenged to help DOT up its tech game


The Transportation Department wants to take its data to the next level.

Like many other agencies, it has turned to the public to address its challenges, asking for input and ideas from citizens to “revolutionize its transportation system.”

Enter, DOT’s Data Innovation Challenge. The challenge is targeting three specific categories: safety, transportation access and traffic management and congestion, according to the DOT website.


“Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous change in government at all levels–rather than sitting on their datasets, from city to county to state and across the agencies that make up our federal government, organizations are making their data publicly available in formats that make it easier for innovators to convert that data into information and useful tools for the public, urban planners, policy-makers, journalists and others,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on the department’s website.

The panel, selected by DOT, will be responsible for reviewing and naming winners based on specific criteria. Criteria include potential for widespread adoption, innovation, social benefit and technical and operational feasibility.

DOT is looking for innovative uses of technology that access publicly available datasets, including Web-based tools, data visualizations and mobile apps. In addition to technological submissions, the department is also seeking feedback on which travel apps are useful to consumers or where there is demand.

“A trove of data is out there, free for public use, and our challenge website can get you pointed in the right direction,” Foxx said. “All it takes now is a little creativity and ingenuity on your part.”

Challenge winners will participate in a special ceremony at DOT with Foxx and other senior officials.


Those interested have until April 30 to submit their solutions.

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