Implementing a Community-Based Mobility Lab: Improving Traffic, Protecting Data Privacy

In rural, suburban, and urban communities across the United States, designing, developing, operating, and maintaining the mobility systems that move people and goods is more challenging than ever. Growing populations are placing increasing demands on transportation infrastructure that, due to lack of upgrades, is failing to keep pace. In many cases, "new build" options are not possible even if the vast sums required to fund such projects were possible and supported by the relevant multijurisdictional layers of local, state, and federal government. Said another way, clean slates are rarities in the transportation world. Fortunately, a range of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and other “smart infrastructure” technologies exist to help local, state, and national leaders better document and assess the operational realities of current mobility systems—and, subsequently, implement data-driven technological solutions. A major challenge facing the implementation of ITS and other "smart" infrastructure is not a technological problem but, rather, a social science challenge: community mistrust and opposition to the cameras and microsensors required to gather the vast amounts of mobility data necessary to build and operate ITS infrastructure. Failure to address data privacy concerns and to cultivate trust, transparency and accountability within smart communities may lead to public backlash. The two above-mentioned interrelated research problems—how to (1) gather mobility data efficiently and (2) avoid violating the data privacy and civil rights of residents—must be addressed in any successful ITS infrastructure deployment. The proposed research, “Implementing a Community-Based Mobility Lab: Improving Traffic, Protecting Data Privacy,” seeks to address those two critical research problems by simultaneously testing scalable research methods for gathering mobility data, while conducting outreach and community-based research to establish democratic networks of trust and transparency.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    METRANS Transportation Consortium

    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA  United States 
  • Project Managers:

    Hong, Jennifer

    Bruner, Britain

  • Principal Investigators:

    Reeb, Tyler

  • Start Date: 20230801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01899793
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: 65A0674
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 17 2023 11:19PM