StreetLight Data Releases 2018 Highway Traffic Metrics

The metrics, released annually, are considered helpful for municipalities when it comes to actual traffic counts, as well as traveler demographics for particular streets or specific stretches of highway.

by / March 14, 2018
Traffic analysis software firm StreetLight Data has released its Annual Average Daily Traffic on its StreetLight InSight platform. Shutterstock/Michael Moloney

StreetLight Data, a traffic analysis software firm, has released its Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT), which contains data on vehicle speed, number of vehicles and their direction for specific sections of highways. The information is available on the StreetLight InSight platform for hundreds of cities.

Numerous municipalities and other organizations use the data, which covers actual car-counts along with speed, destinations and origins, as well as demographics of travelers. StreetLight Data examines publicly available location and movement data from mobile phones to get an understanding of the different modes of travel on streets, bikeways and other routes.

According to Laura Schewel, CEO of StreetLight Data, the data is more accurate than last year's and it's been made available earlier than previous years. She described AADT as a very comprehensive suite of metrics.

“AADT is this very formalized thing that a lot of [transportation agencies] used,” Schewel explained. “So we had AADT before, for 2017 and 2016, but it required looking at every single day of last year and doing a lot of machine learning and adjustments to get it as precise as possible.

Last year, the 2017 data wasn’t made available until fall 2018. StreetLight Data was able to move up the release of 2018 metrics, which offer an accurate snapshot of traffic loads on more than 4 million miles of roadway.

The metrics provided by StreetLight can be particularly helpful when it comes to getting accurate traffic counts for particular streets or stretches of highway. It is also available in rural or suburban areas, where it can often be difficult and expensive to manually collect traffic and other related data in rural areas.

“It’s something that complies with reporting standards," said Schewel. "So they can use it to displace very cumbersome processes," calling to mind the counting devices that get stretched across highways to count the cars as they roll over the counter. “So hopefully, it avoids all the costs, and the misery and the errors — and actually putting people in danger by the side of the road that that process entails.”

Skip Descant Staff Writer

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Sacramento.