Transportation Secure Data Center Newsletter

The Transportation Secure Data Center (TSDC) newsletter features announcements, updates, and information about new publications and projects.

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Summer 2017 Edition


Call for Papers: Innovative Analyses Using Data from the TSDC

The Transportation Research Board has issued a call for papers about Innovative Travel Survey Analyses Using Data from the TSDC. Full papers on topics that enhance understanding of travel patterns of households/individuals must be submitted by August 1.


User Statistics

As more than 1,500 users have discovered, the easiest way to access TSDC data is to download cleansed versions of the hosted datasets directly from the website. Completion of the online application is required to gain access to more detailed versions of the datasets via the TSDC secure portal environment.

A line graph and pie chart showing rapid growth in the university sector TSDC user signups.

The TSDC website has seen a steep increase in use since 2014, and registration continues to increase every year.

A bar chart broken out by years 2013-2017 and topic.

With over 50 data requests, the California Household Travel Survey (CalTrans) dataset holds its position as the most requested dataset in the secure data portal.


New to the TSDC

The TSDC website includes a table of datasets available for download, as well as processed drive cycle data from those studies that included second-by-second vehicle-based GPS data collection. Recently added datasets include the following:

  • California Energy Commission — 2013 California Vehicle Survey: On behalf of the California Energy Commission, ICF International conducted the California Vehicle Survey (CVS) in 2013. Approximately 8,000 respondents, comprised of California households and businesses, completed the survey. A follow-up to the 2010–2012 California Household Travel Survey, the CVS included information on households' intentions to purchase vehicles in the near future.
  • Madison County Council of Governments — 2014–2015 In the Moment Travel Study: A pilot study conducted February–March 2015, the In the Moment Travel Study used an activity sampling or "random moments" sampling approach via a smartphone application to capture travel behavior and characteristics. Traditional household travel diary surveys often require 20–30 minutes to complete, but this approach only involved a few minutes per interaction, conducted multiple times a day over multiple days.
  • Madison County Council of Governments — 2014 Heartland in Motion Transportation Study: In February and March 2014, Resource Systems Group, Inc., conducted the Heartland in Motion Transportation Study for the Madison County Council of Governments. The study included a household travel survey and a set of stated preference experiments that evaluated preferred transit options between Madison County and Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Texas Department of Transportation — 2014–16 Midland/Odessa, 2014–16 San Angelo, & 2013–15 Texarkana Regional Travel Surveys: These regional travel surveys included vehicle-based GPS instrumentation on 363 vehicles in Midland/Odessa, TX, 361 vehicles in San Angelo, TX, and 464 vehicles in Texarkana, TX. These additions bring the total number of TSDC-hosted regional travel surveys conducted in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation to 13.


Over 100 publications have been produced drawing on TSDC data since its inception. Citations for a few of the most recent ones include:

  • Plötz, P., Jakobsson, N., and Sprei, F. (2017). On the Distribution of Individual Daily Driving Distances. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 101, 213-227.
  • Javid, R. J., and Nejat, A. (2017). A Comprehensive Model of Regional Electric Vehicle Adoption and Penetration. Transport Policy, 54, 30-42.
  • Lee, D. Y., and Thomas, V. M. (2017). Parametric Modeling Approach for Economic and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Medium-Duty Truck Electrification. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142, 3300-3321.
  • Zhu, L., Holden, J. R., and Gonder, J. D. (2017). A Trajectory Segmentation Map-Matching Approach for Large-Scale, High-Resolution GPS Data. Accepted for publication in Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board.


NREL researchers regularly discuss the TSDC at meetings and conferences across the nation to increase awareness of this comprehensive, open-data resource. A few recent venues included:

  • 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., January 2017
  • TOMNET UTC Kickoff Meeting, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, March 2017
  • Meetings of add-on regions participating in the current National Household Travel Survey, May 2017
  • Automated Vehicle Policy Series on "Leveraging Innovation to Solve the Data Sharing Challenge," organized by the Alliance for Transportation Innovation in Washington, D.C., June 2017
  • West Big Data Innovation Hub All-Hands Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, June 2017.