Machine learning tool track traffic congestion

A new machine learning algorithm created at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will help urban transportation analysts identify and relieve traffic patterns in their cities.

The tool, called TranSEC, uses Uber driver datasets and other publicly available traffic sensor data to map street-level traffic flow over time. Then, using machine learning tools and computing resources available at the national lab, TranSEC can create an overall picture of the city’s traffic.

The tool can utilize machine learning to analyze sparse and incomplete information by connecting segments of information with missing data, giving analysts nearly real-time street-level estimations of traffic.

The PNNL team used public data from the 1,500-square-mile Los Angeles metropolitan area to create a traffic congestion model by order of magnitude, from hours to minutes. The high-performance computer resources at PNNL is what makes the near real-time analysis possible.