As part of its emerging technologies pilot program, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), which is responsible for regional transportation planning, is partnering with Wejo, a world leader in connected vehicle data. MAG works with Wejo to get data from vehicles on regional roads. Many new cars come equipped with communication devices (embedded or portable) that enable connection of the vehicle to external devices, networks, or applications. These connected vehicles serve as vehicle “probes” reporting vehicles’ position and speed on regional roads 24/7.

“The high precision vehicle positioning data represent a game changer for traffic analysis and transportation planning,” says MAG Transportation Technologies and Services Director Dr. Vladimir Livshits. “MAG partnered with Wejo for this innovative technology pilot to demonstrate numerous applications and benefits of using connected vehicle data in regional transportation planning, traffic operations and safety analysis.”

Dr. Livshits notes that the data are accessed via a secure exchange platform provided by Wejo. The data are anonymous and privacy is protected at all times. Dr. Livshits says the prompt results and analytics based on Wejo data have greatly improved MAG’s ability to conduct transportation system analysis, improve transportation forecasting models, traffic signal optimization, construction zone planning and management and tackle transportation problems from a new angle.

For example, the information allows MAG to monitor and analyze performance along specific corridors or at street intersections. The data can help MAG “see” where delays are happening, the number of stopped points, and even how much traffic is queued up at traffic lights. This can help engineers evaluate the intersection or corridor’s performance, identify problems, and conduct before and after studies to improve mobility and safety. The information provided by connected vehicles data also saves public dollars and allows the replacement of expensive manual probe vehicle studies with a much better, more efficient and cost-effective approach.

Recently, the data also have been used to help track travel patterns during the COVID pandemic.