The National Department of Transportation’s Chief Technology Officer, Maria Roat, spoke out about what the Department of Transportation has been working on recently, which includes making an effort to learn more about U.S. drivers’ habits. The D.O.T. has invested in a multiyear effort to gather information about people’s driving patterns by using on board sensors and video cameras. The data has been collected from test drivers who have collectively spent about 1 million hours in 2,000 cars. The Department of Transportation is analyzing the information they have collected in order to understand how people drive, what drivers are looking at, and how they react to things.
In addition, Roat also spoke about the D.O.T.’s attempts to build a national address database. She explained that citizens’ address data is owned and stored by cities and there actually is not a national address database. A national address database would be useful for emergency response teams, especially in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.
The growing use and interest in analytics by the Department of Transportation has created a lot of momentum. According to Roat, they are finding innovative ways to share the information they have collected and are preparing new ways to store and secure it. In the future, they hope to use and store data in the “cloud” for vehicles, traffic lights, and road blocks.