• Governer Partner :Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Department :Operations Staff
  • Category :Data Collection / Security, Geo Services, Mobile App, Mobility, Public Safety, Resident Engagement

Project Summary

Public roadway technology enabled real-time hazard reporting tool

Challenge Details

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is seeking to provide a tool for the public to safely report hazards and debris on Bay Area freeways and highways.

Roadway debris, which is frequently the result of unsecured loads, can result in hazardous obstacles that cause traffic jams and accidents. Airborne debris, kicked up by vehicles, can be especially dangerous as it may strike vehicle windshields.

Currently, if motorists encounter debris on the roadway that is causing traffic to swerve sharply or slow down, they should report it by calling 911. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will advise California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) crews immediately of the danger and dispatch a crew or set up a traffic break to remove the danger. If there is a non-emergency issue with the roadway, such as debris on the shoulder, the public is instructed to report the hazard at the Caltrans customer service request webpage: https://csr.dot.ca.gov/. Many motorists also report hazards within the Waze app; while this may warn other users within the app, it does not communicate this information to Caltrans and CHP for removal of the hazard.

Motorists are lacking a common tool to alert the agencies charged with clearing hazards and maintaining roadway safety. Additionally, web-based tools are unable to be safely used while traveling, however, voice-enabled solutions provide the opportunity for hands-free reporting. MTC is seeking a solution that would accomplish the following:

– Enable motorists to report all types of roadway hazards and debris, including location details for the hazard.
– Provide a user-friendly, accurate, and safe means for reporting, such as voice-enabled solutions.
– Harness crowd-sourced data on roadway debris, for example, Waze feeds.
– Share and/or integrate this data with Caltrans, CHP, and MTC programs supporting incident management and safe freeways.
– Make this data available for third party traveler apps, such as Waze.