Crowdsourced incident and congestion data is any such data willingly and intentionally generated and reported by members of the public who get something in return for their contributions. Crowdsourced data can be timelier than agency generated data due to the higher probability of travelers coming across an incident or encountering congestion than an agency detecting it via its sensors, cameras, and field patrols.
A study conducted by the I-95 Corridor Coalition (ICC) compared the amount of time it takes for events to appear within the Waze data feed as compared to the time it takes for an agency to detect and report the same event. The findings below show the average length of time between Waze and a DOT reported events. (includes events in California, Florida, and Virginia).
Comparison of Waze versus department of transportation event reporting
Type of Event
|Average Time a Waze Event was Reported before DOT Reporting||Percentage of All Waze Events that Were Included in the DOT's ATMS Logs|
|Freeways/Ramps Crashes||3 Minutes||40 percent|
|Primary/Secondary Crashes||3 Minutes||12 percent|
|Freeways/Ramps Disabled Vehicles||14 Minutes||37 percent|
|Primary/Secondary Disabled Vehicles||16 Minutes||4 percent|
ATMS = advanced transportation management system. DOT = department of transportation.
The findings suggest that crowdsourced data can be timelier than agency-generated data enabling TMCs to respond to minor incidents and developing congestion 3 to 16 minutes sooner.