Crowdsourcing is the practice of engaging the services of a large and undefined group of people (the ‘crowd’) to provide information or input into a particular task or activity. In transport applications, crowdsourcing has the potential to meet information needs across all modes for a range of purposes, including the provision of traveller information, and supporting transport network operations, road safety and asset management.
This research investigates the role of crowdsourcing in New Zealand as an input to inform traveller information systems and in doing so supporting road network efficiency outcomes. The primary purpose of this research is to identify the strategic, legal and policy considerations necessary to enable road controlling authorities and government agencies to lead or support crowdsourced data initiatives. These considerations include the management of privacy, safety, data collection, storage and retrieval, the use of incentives, data quality assurance and organisational barriers to new technologies and data collection methods.
The outputs of the research include practical recommendations regarding potential applications of crowdsourcing in the transport sector, the role of NZ Transport Agency and other road controlling authorities in supporting a crowdsourcing data ecosystem, and the technical requirements for crowdsourcing data to support traveller information systems.
Keywords: crowdsourcing, intelligent transportation systems, network efficiency, real-time data, road reports, social media, travel time, traveller information, web application