U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge Winner

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced University of Central Florida (UCF) as the winner of the Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge. The challenge is a $350,000 national, multistage competition seeking innovative analytical visualization tools to improve safety on our nation’s road and rail systems.

“Safety is the Department’s top priority and the Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge, which the University of Central Florida won impressively, is part of ongoing efforts to save lives and prevent injuries,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has now awarded $350,000 in total prize money, including $220,000 in winner and semi-finalist prizes to UCF.

UCF’s tool uses advanced analytics, including machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to predict elevated crash risk in real time and suggest safety countermeasures that could be implemented instantly and in the longer term. It integrates real time data from sources that are primarily used for traffic management with static data.

The Solving for Safety Visualization Challenge was created to advance the use of safety data visualizations for answering analytical questions related to surface transportation system safety. Analytical visualization tools can cast new light on data to reveal insights into safety and prevention of serious crashes not seen through traditional analysis.

Stage I was a six-week ideation development stage in which 54 applicants provided a conceptual idea of the proposed analytical visualization tool. Stage II was a four-week concept development stage in which five semi-finalists provided a proof of concept and prototype of their tool, competing for a portion of the $100,000 interim prize. Stage III was a nine-week tool development stage in which two finalists submitted a full working version of their tool, competing for a portion of the $250,000 final prize.

UCF was selected as the winner in this final stage. At each stage of the challenge, submissions were evaluated by DOT technical experts. For more information, visit: https://www.transportation.gov/solve4safety.

The Solving for Safety Challenge is part of the Department’s Safety Data Initiative announced in January 2018, which focuses on data integration, data visualization, and predictive insights. New data analytics will allow DOT to synthesize traditional and new data sources. Data visualization will cultivate a system of insights and innovative technologies that change the way transportation safety is approached.