The National Academies

NCHRP 08-157 [RFP]

Best Practices for Data Fusion of Probe and Point Detector Data

Posted Date: 12/17/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Contract Time: 18 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: 7/1/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: David M. Jared
   Phone: 202/334-2358
   Email: djared@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/2/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022



Data fusion is the process of integrating multiple data sources to produce more consistent, accurate, and comprehensive information than that provided by any individual data source. In a transportation context, transportation agencies are seeking to define the types and characteristics of data for entry into data fusion engines. Research is needed to identify the challenges, issues, and proven or potential practices for performing data fusion to measure or forecast travel time, speed, reliability, and other aspects of operational performance on roadway networks. Traffic datasets of interest include point sensors; Bluetooth; data from GPS devices embedded in smartphones, personal navigation devices, taxis, and fleets; third-party travel time data; and emerging connected vehicle (CV) data sets.


Research that enables better knowledge of the network state could help improve traffic management and planning decisions to address impacts of recurrent and non-recurrent (e.g., incident-related) congestion. Improved network state estimates could also enhance safety outcomes by identifying locations with high crash rates and anomalous traffic flow conditions.




The objectives of this research are to:


1. Develop a process to (a) identify specific objectives for data fusion; (b) identify data sources available for fusion; (c) select the most suitable data for fusion; and (d) facilitate the fusion itself.


2. Develop guidelines for transportation agencies to facilitate data fusion, improve data reporting, and ultimately improve traffic management.


Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.





Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objectives. 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 objectives.


Task 1. Determine data fusion state of practice and develop stakeholder engagement plan.


Task 1a. Review literature and research in progress. The review shall include (a) research by public agencies, academia, and industry; and (b) relevant resources from outside the transportation sector.


Task 1b. Develop draft survey of stakeholders on data fusion. Identify stakeholders to be surveyed in Task 2 and develop draft survey. The survey shall be aimed at identifying stakeholder objectives for data fusion, data sources utilized, and challenges with data fusion. Both public and private sectors shall be included in the survey and organizations within and outside the transportation sector, including the AASHTO Committee on Data Management and Analytics and pertinent TRB committees.


Submit Technical Memorandum 1 covering the findings of Tasks 1a and 1b. Present findings to NCHRP at an online meeting. NCHRP approval of Technical Memorandum 1 is required before proceeding with subsequent tasks.


Task 2. Conduct stakeholder survey and develop recommendations on research deliverables.


Task 2a. Survey stakeholders. The survey shall initially be conducted electronically, with follow-up contacts by phone as needed. The survey shall be sent to all pertinent personnel within an agency or firm.


Task 2b. Develop draft plan for project deliverables and evaluation. First, a set of potential data fusion use cases shall be defined. Based on the identified use cases and the results of the literature review and survey, a set of candidate data fusion methods for testing shall be identified. Data fusion methods shall be selected by identifying those that can be reasonably integrated into transportation agency operations and that are computationally feasible to encourage agencies to adopt them. A series of data sets shall be compiled to assess the accuracy of the various methods and identify the advantages and limitations of the methods across a range of facility types and traffic conditions.


Task 3. Submit interim report. The report shall summarize the results of Task 2, including the survey, recommendations on research deliverables to be developed in subsequent tasks, and draft development and evaluation plans. The interim report shall be presented to the panel at an in-person or online meeting. NCHRP approval of the interim report is required before proceeding with subsequent tasks.


Task 4. Develop and evaluate deliverables.


Task 4a. Deliverable development. Develop project deliverables using the findings from Tasks 1-3. These deliverables must be suitable for evaluation per specifications in Task 4b.


Task 4b. Deliverable evaluation. Evaluation of the deliverables developed in Task 4 shall be conducted using real data from real networks. The evaluation shall include multiple data sources, e.g., probe data and point sensors.  


Task 5. Develop implementation guidelines: To support data fusion implementation in real-world applications, the guidelines shall, to the extent possible, be data source-independent and allow for minimum agency expertise in data fusion algorithms and modeling. Submit the draft guidelines to NCHRP for panel review. NCHRP approval of the guidelines is required before proceeding with remaining project tasks.


Task 6. Submit final report and other project deliverables. Final deliverables include (1) the guidelines, (2) a conduct of research report describing how the research was conducted, (3) an implementation plan (see Special Note C), and (4) presentation slides summarizing the research and its results.


Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining three (3) months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.





A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.


B. 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.


C. 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 at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.


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 11 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.

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/7os3okccVL8jk5HsABjZ
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 2/2/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, 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.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB 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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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