Getting Credible VMT Data

Status: Concept    
Potential Funding Sources:    
Timeframe: Long-Term
Research Period: months
Funding Estimate: $125,000
Potential Sponsors:


Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is a frequently reported data point, but the accuracy of this data is not always clearly understood or articulated. This project should highlight best practices for gathering VMT data and various subsets of such data including trucks, motorcycles, etc.

Background

• Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is a frequently reported data point, but the accuracy of this data is not always clearly understood or articulated.
• Technology development has increased the sources by which agencies may capture VMT but has not necessarily increased the credibility of this data.
• VMT today may rely on data from third parties such as INRIX, HERE, or WAZE. It may rely on HPMS reporting. It may rely on Intelligent Transportation System devices.
• Few if any sources could actually count every mile traveled by all vehicles, and statistical interpolation must often help complete VMT data sets. Users of those data sets often do not know the margin of error in their analysis.

Research Objectives

• This project should survey the means by which VMT data is gathered, assimilated, and analyzed.
• The research should analyze similarities and differences in the means by which VMT is gathered and reported.
• The analysis highlight gaps or shortcomings for each widely deployed mechanism.
• The project should compare factors such as accuracy, cost, and timeliness between various data-gathering and reporting mechanisms.
• This project should highlight best practices for gathering VMT data and various subsets of such data including trucks, motorcycles, etc.

Proposed Research

1. Literature and Practice Review
- Catalogue of Candidate Practices
2. Examine and compare VMT data gathering and reporting practices
3. Statistical analysis of data generated by most commonly used five to ten sources
a. correlation between data sources
b. data gaps in each source
c. approximate cost of collection
4. Survey Current Uses of VMT Data
5. Webinar to present research results
6. Final report

Potential Benefits

VMT is used in many transportation agency applications: traffic studies and travel demand modeling, revenue forecasting, federal reporting, construction and closure planning, access permitting, and more. Periodically verifying or calibrating data collection will help ensure accuracy and enable users of the data to determine what levels of precision are needed.

Implementation and Follow-on Activities

Implementation activities pending.

Related Research

Related Research to be added.

No related research found

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