The National Academies

NCHRP 03-138 [RFP]

Application of Big Data Approaches for Traffic Incident Management (TIM)

Posted Date: 1/2/2020

  Project Data
Funds: $490,000
Contract Time: 27 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/23/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: William C. Rogers
   Phone: 202/334-1621
   Email: wrogers@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/18/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020


The scale of the data, the concepts, and the paradigm shift that is necessary to move from traditional data collection, storage, and analytics to use Big Data poses new challenges for transportation practitioners. This shift is not simply a linear one; rather, it requires completely new approaches to data collection, storage and management, and procurement of information technology services, as well as skill sets that most transportation agencies lack and are difficult to acquire. Furthermore, few agencies are using Big Data data sets to demonstrate the benefits of this approach, particularly for TIM.
The recently completed project NCHRP Research Report 904: Leveraging Big Data to Improve Traffic Incident Management, (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/179756.aspx) begins to address these issues. Big Data applications related to the emergence of connected vehicle, traveler, and infrastructure data will soon drive this change.  One of the findings from the report is that in order to gain benefits from Big Data approaches and analytics, a scalable solution is essential.  Research is necessary to document issues and demonstrate the feasibility and value of Big Data approaches for use by state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies to enhance operations and TIM programs.
The objective of this research is to (1) demonstrate the feasibility and practical value of Big Data approaches to improve TIM, and (2) provide guidelines, including techniques and tools, to address the findings and recommendations of NCHRP Research Report 904: Leveraging Big Data to Improve Traffic Incident Management.  

The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research should address a range of challenges related to Big Data and its use by state DOTs to enhance incident management, performance assessment, and predictive analytics. The proposed research should address, but not be limited to, the following:
  • Developing use cases and scenarios that identify data resources and possible analyses for enhancing TIM;
  • Exploring the potential of nontraditional data sets and data fusion with TIM related sources;
  • Building a data environment (e.g., data schema, data architecture, governance, open source platforms) in which data can be stored and analyzed, and identify necessary resources and potential costs; 
  • Developing case studies for a variety of geographic scales and population densities to demonstrate real-world use of the data environment for incident management, performance assessment, and predictive analytics; and
  • Documenting and developing a user guide with identified techniques and tools for use by state DOTs and other agencies.
The work plan proposed must be divided into two phases as determined by the proposer. Each phase must be organized by task, with each task described in detail. 
A kick-off teleconference of the research team and NCHRP shall be scheduled within 1 month of the contract’s execution.
Note: NCHRP will host all web and conference calls with the research team and the project oversight panel.
Phase I will consist of information gathering, data analysis, and refinement of the work plan for subsequent tasks. Phase I will culminate in the submission of an interim report describing the work completed in the Phase I, a draft of the user guide with the identified techniques and tools, an agenda for the 1-1/2 day workshop to be conducted at the TRB offices in Washington, DC, and an updated work plan for the Phase II tasks. There must be a face-to-face meeting scheduled with NCHRP to discuss the interim report. No work shall be performed on Phase II without NCHRP approval. The project schedule shall include 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report. Phase II shall consist of the workshop to demonstrate the draft deliverables of the research and obtain feedback from practitioners and the development of the final deliverables.
Note: The costs for the workshop, including invitational travel for 30 TIM personnel, shall be included in the detailed budget for the research. NCHRP will cover costs associated with hosting the workshop in Washington, DC, as well as the cost of travel for NCHRP panel members.
The final deliverables shall include (1) the demonstration of the feasibility and practical value of Big Data approaches to improve TIM, and guidelines, including techniques and tools, to address the findings and recommendations of NCHRP Research Report 904; (2) a final report documenting the entire project and incorporating all other specified deliverable products of the research; (3) an electronic presentation of the research that can be tailored for specific audiences; (4) recommendations for additional research; and (5) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note B for additional information).
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.
A. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
B. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal. 
E. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.
F. Resumes for key personnel shall not exceed 3 pages each. The research plan shall be limited to no more than 15 pages. This does not include the detailed schedule or the detailed budget.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 2/18/2020.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered liability statement in order for the NCHRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated July 2019). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.


Potential proposers should understand clearly that the research project described herein is tentative. The final content of the program depends on the level of funding made available through States' agreements for financial support of the NCHRP. Nevertheless, to be prepared to execute research contracts as soon as possible after sponsors' approvals, the NCHRP is assuming that the tentative program will become official in its entirety and is proceeding with requests for proposals and selections of research agencies.

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