Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx)
- On March 21, 2023, U.S. DOT announced the first round of recipients of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. Illinois DOT and Wisconsin DOT both received grants to develop or improve WZDx feeds within their state.
- The Work Zone Data Working Group released version 4.2 of the WZDx Specification in February 2023. Please review the release notes for more information on the updates.
- Version 4.2 is the final version of the WZDx specification to be released by the Work Zone Data Working Group. The WZDx specification is transitioning into a formal standard by the FHWA and ITS JPO under ITE (with partners AASHTO and NEMA) and SAE stewardship. To learn more about that effort and how to get involved, see the Connected Work Zones website.
- The number of active WZDx data feeds has increased to 16. See the latest active feeds at the WZDx Feed Registry, which will continue to be maintained by the USDOT moving forward.
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 objective 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) awarded $2,372,254 on January 15, 2021 for Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) Demonstration Grants to fund 13 projects in 13 States. The Notice of Funding opportunity (NOFO) for this WZDx Demonstration 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 was a 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.
Available WZDx Data Feeds
Active WZDx data feeds can be found on the WZDx Feed Registry. The registry currently lists feeds from the following sixteen jurisdictions:
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Florida Department of Transportation
- Iowa Department of Transportation
- Maricopa County (Arizona) Department of Transportation
- Maryland Department of Transportation
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation
- Metropolitan Transportation Commission (California)
- Minnesota Department of Transportation
- Missouri Department of Transportation
- National Park Service – Mojave National Preserve
- North Carolina Department of Transportation
- Oklahoma Department of Transportation
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Utah Department of Transportation
- Virginia Department of Transportation
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Check the registry for the latest information on available feeds. New feeds are added as they become available. To inquire about adding a new feed to the WZDx Feed Registry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is the WZDx Specification being developed?
Improving access to work zone data was 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 roadway and traffic conditions, occurring on roads – such as construction events, – can help automated driving systems (ADS) and human drivers navigate more safely and efficiently. Many IOOs maintain data on work zone activity. However, a lack of common data standards and convening mechanisms made it difficult and costly for third parties – including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and navigation applications – to access and use these data across various jurisdictions. The WZDx specification enables infrastructure owners and operators (IOOs) to make harmonized work zone data available for third party use.
Inspired by the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), U.S. DOT launched the WZDx to jumpstart the voluntary adoption of a basic work zone data specification through collaboration with data producers and data users. While the short-term goal of WZDx was to enable harmonized data exchange, one of the long-term goals of WZDx was to enable collaborative maintenance and expansion of the specification to meet the emerging needs of ADS.
More broadly, through this project, U.S. DOT aimed to model a replicable approach to accelerate harmonization of local data sources that could 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 remained 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 WZDx specification in collaboration with U.S. DOT and began 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 WZDx Specification was released in early 2020.
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. The v3.0 development cycle included 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.
Version 4.0 of the WZDx Specification broke backwards compatibility in order to reorganize the WZDx specification to introduce the capability of exchanging smart work zone device data and non-work zone road restrictions. The v4.0 development cycle welcomed the Specification Extension Subgroup, which advanced work on using the WZDx model for data exchanges on Restrictions and Incidents. Restrictions and Incidents feeds are now located at a new GitHub site, which will allow development work on these and any future feed specifications to continue independent of the Work Zone Feed and Device Feed specifications.
In February of 2023, the WZDWG published version 4.2 of the WZDx Specification. This minor update is the last version of the specification created under the WZDWG’s governance structure. The WZDx specification is being rolled into a formal standard by the FHWA and ITS JPO under stewardship from ITE (with partners AASHTO and NEMA) and SAE. To learn more about that effort and how to get involved, see the Connected Work Zones website. Updates included in version 4.2 include the following:
- Optional reference to the Curb Data Specification (CDS)
- Allowing user to specify work zone type
- Addition of velocity for moving work zones or field devices
- Addition of inner- and outer-loop as options for the Direction field
- Clarification of descriptions for several existing properties
Several resources for work zone data producers are available on the WZDx project website:
- The Institutional Buy-In Paper is a three-page informational document produced by the co-chairs of the Technical Assistance Subgroup in Fall 2021. The document is geared towards data producers and addresses a series of commonly asked questions and concerns about developing a WZDx feed. The document has a companion Institutional Buy-In Presentation, which covers the same material in a PowerPoint format.
- The Early Adopters’ Guide was developed out of a series of interviews conducted in Fall 2020 by the co-chairs of the Technical Assistance Subgroup. The guide includes lessons learned, challenges faced, and steps taken by several DOTs to implement their WZDx feeds and is intended to assist new adopters.
- The Work Zone Data Working Group published the Work Zone Data Survey Report on GitHub in Spring 2021. The report analyzes the current state of practice for collecting, publishing, and using real-time data about worker presence in work zones.
Visit the WZDx project site for more information, to set up or ingest a feed, and/or to provide feedback on the specification.
Work Zone Data Initiative (WZDI)
FHWA led 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 was 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 would 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.
As the nation develops an increasing reliance on technology and next generation transportation management, ensuring the availability of consistent, reliable data describing work zone events is critical to enabling agency management of highway operations. The FHWA led the WZDI to improve the availability of information on work zone events—the "when, where, and how" of highway construction activity—by promoting standards and processes that enhance agency capabilities to manage transportation operations around work zones and enable sharing this valuable information with other transportation operations stakeholders.
- Planning, Developing, and Implementing A Centralized Work Zone Data Hub—Iowa Department Of Transportation
- Utilizing Work Zone Event Data in Connected And Smarter Work Zone Applications—Maricopa County, Arizona
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 email@example.com.