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Vehicle Probe Data Users Group - Description

Staff Contact: Wenjing Pu  (202) 962-3761




The mission of the National Capital Region's Vehicle Probe Data Users Group (VPDUG) is to enhance regional coordination, consistency, and capabilities in the use of vehicle probe-based traffic data toward performance-based transportation planning and programming.  Probe data such as those supplied by the I-95 Corridor Coalition Vehicle Probe Project (VPP) and the Federal Highway Administration’s National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS) reveal unprecedented coverage and details of traffic conditions on surface roads, providing data support for a major transportation policy shift to establish accountable and performance-based transportation programs as required by the MAP-21 legislation.  As an emerging data source, probe data comes with some technical challenges, inconsistencies, and the state of practice is still fast evolving. It is anticipated that the VPDUG will be a limited-term group in the region’s transition to a broad and appropriate utilization of probe data; after that, the necessity of the group’s existence will be re-evaluated.




1.     Provide a regional platform for probe data information exchange, user experience sharing, and professional skills development.

2.     Provide user feedback to vehicle probe data vendors and analytical tools developers.

3.     Develop recommended technical guidelines for probe data processing and performance measure calculation and improve the guidelines over time.

4.     Address probe data-related other data and system performance issues to support performance-based transportation planning and programing.




The Vehicle Probe Data Users Group is established as a sub-group of the Management, Operations, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (MOITS) Technical Subcommittee, with a quarterly meeting schedule and volunteer members.  A member of the TPB staff is designated as the lead staff person for the Group.




Participation is encouraged by all member agencies of TPB.  Participating group members are ideally key technical transportation engineers and planners for member local, state, and regional agencies.  As the probe data to be discussed in the Users Group are provided by private companies with proprietary technologies, restrictions could be imposed on certain meetings, agenda items, documents or data sets for entities without active data use agreement with relevant agencies. Currently, the participation of the VPDUG is limited to:


1)      Public agencies of TPB member jurisdictions,

2)      Consultants working for TPB member jurisdictions and enabled by a valid Data Use Agreement (DUA) with the I-95 Corridor Coalition or the University of Maryland,

3)      Peer public agencies outside TPB jurisdictions with a valid DUA with the I-95 Corridor Coalition or the University of Maryland, and

4)      Other eligible entities reviewed and, if acceptable, permitted on a case-by-case basis.


Access to Probe Data


VPP Data: Only members of public sector agencies that have signed the Vehicle Probe Data Use Agreement will be granted access to the Vehicle Probe Project data and its web-based analysis tools, the VPP Suite. Members of the TPB are encouraged to sign the DUA to take advantages of this data.


NPMRDS Data:  Only state DOTs and MPOs are currently eligible to access the FHWA’s National Performance Management Research Data Set. If eligible to request access to the data, please send an e-mail to heretraffic.nhsdata@here.com. Once granted access, you will be sent instructions on how to access and download the data.


Applications of Probe Data


Examples of applying probe data in congestion and system performance monitoring include (updated as needed):


·         TPB Congestion Management Process (CMP) Technical Report

·         National Capital Region Congestion Report


Attending Meetings


In the interest of reducing costs and waste, and "greening" our meetings, all meeting attendees please RSVP using the COG online meeting management system. This will provide TPB staff with the ability to accurately anticipate how many copies of handouts to make.


Effective August 1, 2012, visitors and vendors to the COG building are required to sign in to the visitor registration system, Lobby Guard. Visitors may scan their government-issued ID or manually type their information into Lobby Guard. Visitors must display their visitor badge at all times while in the building. Visitors should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before their scheduled meeting start time to allow for registration with Lobby Guard.


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