StreetLight Fills a Critical COVID-19 Data Gap, Delivering AADT 2020 Traffic Counts at Scale for All Continental U.S. Roadways

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Pandemic shutdowns upended traffic and threw transportation data collection for a loop. Today, StreetLight Data unveils comprehensive countrywide 2020 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts to fill in massive gaps from the year affected by COVID-19.

StreetLight 2020 AADT for test data compared to permanent counter AADT at 6,600+ permanent counter data points for 3,000+ unique permanent counter locations across the U.S.; R2 is 0.98.

"It has never been more valuable to have real, timely, nationwide AADT data,” said StreetLight CEO Laura Schewel.

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) Now Available for 2017-2020

2020’s pandemic shutdowns upended traffic, kept agencies from deploying counts, and threw transportation data collection for a loop. Today, StreetLight Data, Inc. (StreetLight), the leader in data analytics for mobility, unveiled comprehensive countrywide 2020 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts to fill in massive gaps from the year affected by COVID-19.

For transportation agencies able to collect data, none of the traditional approaches of “extrapolation” made sense in 2020; for others, normal collection was limited due to safety concerns and traffic patterns reflecting nothing like “typical conditions.” StreetLight’s validated AADT Metrics cover virtually every U.S. roadway, urban and rural, filling an important gap for transportation planning – for the fourth year in a row.

"It has never been more valuable to have real, timely, nationwide AADT data,” said StreetLight CEO Laura Schewel. “Expansion factors were rendered useless given last year’s unprecedented traffic volatility, and long-range planning was handicapped by the lack of a pre-pandemic baseline for many of America’s roadways. With another year of validated AADT available from a desktop computer, StreetLight InSight® offers planners a wealth of traffic data unavailable anywhere else.”

How different was AADT in 2020? According to the Golden Gate Bridge Operations website, the bridge typically carries around 112,000 vehicles per day. StreetLight’s 2020 AADT reports just 81,000 vehicles per day, which represents a 37% decrease – a massive pandemic-driven delta characteristic of many roadways across the U.S.

AADT is the industry’s fundamental metric for analyzing infrastructure projects and congestion, estimating road safety, and enabling empirical measurement for approving highway funds. Before StreetLight InSight®, AADT counts were collected via permanent or temporary physical sensors, limited to a fraction of U.S. roadways. The 2020 pandemic disrupted measurement and placed a new premium on field personnel safety: both issues are addressed by StreetLight’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that delivers AADT for virtually any roadway in mere minutes.

Based on over 40 billion monthly location records across the country, collected from smartphones, connected cars and trucks, StreetLight’s algorithms draw on 365 days of data on more than four million miles of roadway. Available for urban and rural roads big and small, the company’s AADT 2020 counts outperform industry-standard accuracy targets, as published today in StreetLight Data’s 2020 AADT Methodology and Validation white paper, available on request.

For 2020, training data was captured from 25 states across the U.S., with an improved an improved R2 value of 0.98, indicating a very strong relationship between StreetLight’s AADT and permanent counters. StreetLight’s AADT 2020 exceeds industry accuracy standards, including improved estimation accuracy across a wide range of roadway functional classifications and improved performance on low- and high-volume roads.

About StreetLight Data
StreetLight pioneered the use of Big Data analytics to help transportation professionals solve their biggest problems. Applying proprietary machine-learning algorithms to over four trillion spatial data points over time, StreetLight measures diverse travel patterns and makes them available on-demand via the world’s first SaaS platform for mobility, StreetLight InSight®. From identifying sources of congestion to optimizing new infrastructure to planning for autonomous vehicles, StreetLight powers more than 6,000 global projects every month. For more information, please visit: http://www.streetlightdata.com.

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