Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx)
The Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) Specification enables infrastructure owners and operators (IOOs) to make harmonized work zone data available for third party use. The intent is to make travel on public roads safer and more efficient through ubiquitous access to data on work zone activity. Specifically, the project aims to get data on work zones into vehicles to help automated driving systems (ADS) and human drivers navigate more safely.
WZDx Demonstration Grants
The U.S Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) recently announced plans to fund WZDx Demonstration Grants. The purpose of this research program is to increase the safety of the traveling public through the production of consistent public work zone data feeds across jurisdictions. The program plans to provide one-time funding for public roadway operators to make unified work zone data feeds available for use by third parties and collaborate on the WZDx Specification development.
U.S. DOT hosted a pre-solicitation webinar on the WZDx Demonstration Grants on August 22, 2019.
Updates on this planned funding opportunity will be shared on this page, when available.
Why is the WZDx Specification being developed?
Improving access to work zone data is one of the top needs identified through the U.S. DOT's Data for Automated Vehicle Integration (DAVI) initiative.
Up-to-date information about dynamic conditions occurring on roads – such as construction events – can help ADS and humans navigate safely and efficiently. Many IOOs maintain data on work zone activity. However, a lack of common data standards and convening mechanisms makes it difficult and costly for third parties – including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and navigation applications – to access and use these data across various jurisdictions.
Inspired by the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), U.S. DOT launched the WZDx Specification to jumpstart the voluntary adoption of a basic work zone data specification through collaboration with data producers and data users. Longer term, the goal is to enable collaborative maintenance and expansion of the specification to meet the emerging needs of ADS.
More broadly, through this project, U.S. DOT aims to identify a repeatable approach to accelerate harmonization of local data sources that can improve roadway safety and efficiency.
Who is involved in developing WZDx?
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) co-led the early stages of the WZDx project and remain actively involved along with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and others in the U.S. DOT. Several data producers and data users voluntarily developed version 1.1 of the specification in collaboration with U.S. DOT and have started to set up data feeds based on it.
In 2019, the Work Zone Data Working Group (WZDWG) was established under the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Transportation Subcommittee with the primary goal of developing version 2 of the WZDx Specification based on lessons learned from version 1.1 and new insights from the user community. Version 2 of the Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) Specification was released in January 2020. Visit the WZDx project site for more information, to set up or ingest a feed, and/or to provide feedback on the specification.
What changed in version 2?
The following changes were made to the WZDx Specification in version 2:
- Adopted a relational data model approach to eliminate nested tables and make the specification more scalable
- Required feeds to be published in GeoJSON to facilitate data consumption and use
- Simplified road closure impact reporting to indicate whether a road is partially closed, fully closed, or fully open
- Captured lane-level restrictions (when available) to specify work zone impacts for each lane of a roadway
Version 2 of the WZDx Specification and release notes can be found on the WZDx release page.
FHWA is leading efforts, via the Work Zone Data Initiative (WZDI), to develop a standard approach for collecting, organizing, and sharing data on the “when”, “where,” and “how” of work zone deployment. The goal of this national initiative is to create and accelerate the adoption of a consistent language for communicating work zone activity data across jurisdictional and organizational boundaries. Adoption of this common language will result in enhanced work zone management practices leading to improved mobility and safety in and around work zones for both workers and the traveling public. For more information, check out the WZDI’s Collaboration Site.
For additional information, check out the following documents:
- Framework. A conceptual architecture for work zone data systems collecting, storing, disseminating, managing, maintaining and archiving work zone activity data.
- Data Dictionary. Digital descriptions of work zone activities that enable and support transportation agencies and third-party providers to describe and communicate work zone-related information to agency, private sector, and public users timely and seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions and regions.
For information on the WZDx project, WZDI, or anything else related to the DAVI initiative, please contact email@example.com.