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Starting a Project in the SDC for Project Owners

Managing and sharing transportation research data, securely, is now easier than ever. The USDOT Secure Data Commons (SDC) is an access-controlled, cloud-based data environment that enables users to conduct analyses and develop new tools around emerging sources of transportation data. The SDC stores transportation data made available to researchers to work with these datasets.

Cost of using the SDC

The SDC tracks project-related usage of the system and has a model to help estimate labor and cloud resource costs to support your research needs. SDC platform features that are broadly available to all participating projects, are also shared costs by all such projects.

Estimate the Cost for Your Project

Contact SDC Support to see how much your project might cost based on your need. Please email

The SDC is right for you if...

Depending on the requirements of the project, the table below can help you determine if SDC is suitable for your needs.

Questions Yes No
Does your project generate data that needs to be access-controlled ? ✅ SDC will store and analyze sensitive data with fine-grained access control. Access is authorized to users through a data use agreement with revocable access terms to protect the sensitivity of data. Project-level data management may be secure enough.
Does your project require collaboration between DOT Analysts and Researchers in the transportation community using the same data and tools? ✅ SDC promotes team collaboration by enabling data analysis tools, custom toolsets, open code sharing, and dataset curation to data analysts and external data providers. Data sharing and analysis for the project team, using the same tools may be sufficient.
Does the project generate or need to manage sensitive data? ✅ If the project manages only moderately sensitive data, then SDC is a good option.  If data is not sensitive, the SDC is not required. Public data hubs may be a better option (like the ITS Data Hub) The SDC may not a good option for managing extremely sensitive data
Does your project need to combine data from a diverse set of transportation data sources? ✅ SDC leverages cloud capabilities to share complex transportation datasets with the transportation research community to analyze problems or gain insights.  SDC will enables scalable data storage, data analysis and user access via cloud-based platforms

Starting a Project

The SDC admin team works with the project owner to introduce the data providers and analysts to the SDC and get your project up and running.

Each SDC project goes through a standard lifecycle that prepares them for success within the SDC.
See what this process may look like for your project.

What's Next?

As a project owner interested in joining the SDC, use the steps below to get started:

Contact SDC Support to get an idea of what it would cost to host your data in the SDC.  Please email .

The Enablement Services Program offers custom upgrades to help your project team along the way

Speak with a member of the SDC team to answer any additional questions you have and start the planning process.

Last updated September 2021