The Center for Transportation Research (UT-CTR), along with its partner Austin Transportation Department (ATD), was thrilled to be a “project champion” in the 2017 ATX Hack for Change, sponsored by St. Edwards University. Through our participation, we were able to execute the second in our three-part series of hackathons around City of Austin open transportation data, and introduce the Data Rodeo initiative to the more than 300 civic hackers in attendance at the event.
UT-CTR and ATD’s project, one of fifty at the event, utilized a six-person team of civic-minded technologists and hackers to build and deploy a working prototype of an open-source traffic-data collection system. The team leads installed two traffic sensors, called Raspberry Pis, along South Congress Avenue, which were programmed to collect anonymous vehicle data and publish it to the City’s Open Data Portal.
John Clary, City of Austin Data Rodeo project lead, said of the Raspberry Pi project: “We believe it will lead to tangible improvements in Austin’s transportation system, and will represent an innovative and cost-effective approach to the deployment of community-driven smart city technologies.” Event judges recognized UT-CTR and ATD’s project as demonstrating the "Best Use of Data" at the event.
“This project shows we’re taking an innovative approach to developing smart city technologies with the help of our community," said ATD Assistant Director Jim Dale. "We’re so grateful to the folks who dedicated their weekend to this effort!”
UT-CTR and ATD's participation in ATX Hack for Change was part of the broader Data Rodeo initiative, an ongoing effort to bring together data to support traffic management and transportation planning in the Central Texas region. Follow the Data Rodeo on Twitter to learn about future transportation-related "civic hacking" opportunities.