Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx)
- Version 3.0 of the WZDx Specification was published by the Work Zone Data Working Group on September 18, 2020. V 3.0 includes prioritized issues and new insights from the data producer and data consumer community. V3.0 of the WZDx Specification and release notes can be found on the WZDx GitHub repository.
- To support agencies considering the establishment of their own WZDx-compliant feed, as well as data users considering ingesting WZDx data, the U.S. DOT hosted a public release webinar on the changes made to the WZDx Specification for its v3.0 release. The webinar recording and presentation material are now available.
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) released a $2.4M Notice of Funding opportunity (NOFO) for WZDx Demonstration, which closed on August 3, 2020. 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. This is an one-time funding opportunity 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 solicitation information session webinar on the WZDx Demonstration Grants on June 25, 2020.
U.S. DOT hosted a pre-solicitation webinar on the WZDx Demonstration Grants on August 22, 2019.
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 early 2020. Several data producers have already established WZDx feeds based on version 2:
- The Texas Department of Transportation data feed based on WZDx Specification v2.0 can be found here.
- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation data feed based on WZDx Specification v2.0 can be found here.
- The Maricopa County Department of Transportation data feed based on WZDx Specification v1.1 can be found here and v2.0 can be found here.
- The Iowa Department of Transportation data feed based on WZDx Specification v1.1 can be found here.
In September 2020, the WZDWG published version 3.0 of the WZDx Specification based on the prioritized issues and new industry insights from the data producer and data consumer community. This past development cycle demarcated several WZDWG milestones including the launch of two new additional WZDx Subgroups – the Technical Assistance and Worker Presence Subgroups – who worked in tandem with the Specification Update Subgroup to advance WZDx goals for its v3.0 release.
All the proposed changes passed by a supermajority agreement of the WZDWG in late August of 2020 and were merged into the specification to form WZDx version 3.0. 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 3.0?
The following new features and fixes were made to the WZDx Specification:
- Restrict version format to major.minor and enforce via v3.0 JSON schema
- Add order property to lane entity to indicate a lane's position in sequence on the roadway
- Remove lane_edge_reference and standardize on counting lanes from the left side of the roadway
- Add event_type property to the road event entity and new Event Type Enumerated Type with the values work-zone and detour, to support adding detour information (and more in the future)
- Add relationship entity (one per road event entity) to enable describing relationships (hierarchical and sequential) between road events and other non-WZDx entities (such as a work zone phase or project)
- Add road_event_data_source entity to allow specifying multiple data sources within a single feed
- Streamline metadata (previously given in an external file, by URL) and add relevant fields to the road_event_feed_info and road_event_data_source entities
- Require restriction_type if providing a lane-level restriction
- Change Spatial Verification Enumerated Type and Time Verification Enumerated Type values to be all lowercase
- Remove all plural or nonsensical lane types from the Lane Type Enumerated Type and clarify that each WZDx lane should represent a single lane on the roadway
Work Zone Data Initiative (WZDI)
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.
- Work Zone Data Exchange Workshop – Summary Report. The report summarized key takeaways from over 50 work zone data producers, users, and brokers that took placed on April 4, 2019. This report captured the diverse expertise and insights from participants that can help translate this principle into practice.
First-level support for questions regarding WZDx specifications has been integrated into the USDOT Connected and Automated Vehicle Support Services Help Desk. Our experts can connect you to the answers you need as you work to make travel on public roads safer and more efficient through ubiquitous access to data on work zone activity. To submit a ticket, email: WZDxSupport@dot.gov.
For information on the WZDx project, WZDI, or anything else related to the DAVI initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.