A new tool designed by the University of Minnesota is making it easier for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to gather and analyze traffic data from sensors across the Twin Cities.
Funded by MnDOT and developed by the University of Minnesota Traffic Observatory, the Highway Automated Report Tool (HART) collects all of the traffic data gathered and compiles it into a series of reports that MnDOT can then analyze. Users simply select the corridor they want to look at, the time frame they want to examine and what type of report they want. At that point, the system reconciles any data errors before putting everything into a database. The desired report is then generated in a standardized format.
MnDOT uses HART primarily to generate its annual congestion report for the Twin Cities. The system also generates reports such as how traffic bottlenecks affect highway capacity and how much added capacity a highway can take on.
MnDOT plans to keep the coding for HART flexible so it can continually adapt the tool as traffic analysis needs grow and change.