In February, US Department of Transportation’s Secretary Anthony Foxx launched DOT’s Data Innovation Challenge, a three-month competition to see what web and mobile app developers could do to improve transportation by taking advantage of multiple open sourced transportation datasets.

In recent years, governments across the country are being urged to open up and be more transparent. So city, county, state, and federal agencies are making their data publicly available in formats that are easier to access, interpret, and use.

With thousands of datasets now open to the public, innovators and entrepreneurs are needed to formulate new visions and products that help us use this information in a productive manner. In this spirit, the DOT’s Data Innovation Challenge asked innovators to convert government datasets into resources and tools for the public. The Data Innovation Challenge urged innovators to take the troves of data that are out there and develop web-based tools, data visualizations, mobile apps, or other innovative technologies to address transportation issues.

The three main categories were:

  • Transportation Safety. How can we address safety concerns and challenges? What communities have the safest roads and transit? Why?
  • Transportation Access. How can planners improve the way transportation connects people to jobs, school, housing, and community resources?
  • Traffic Management and Congestion. How can we better understand and reduce traffic, congestion, and emissions?

Motive is happy to announce that we were selected as a runner up in the Transportation Safety category.

Motive uses a number of publicly available DOT datasets to deliver a compelling product to drivers and fleets.


  • Motive uses the SAFER dataset to help drivers easily look up their Carrier Name and Main Office addresses (to satisfy the Form and Manner requirements of RODS) by simply entering their DOT numbers.
  • Motive uses the SAFER dataset to connect drivers with their fleets. When a driver signs up with a valid DOT number and a fleet signs up with that same DOT number, both parties are notified and can then ‘Connect’ with each other through Motive. The SAFER dataset allows us to seamlessly connect drivers and fleets.


  • Motive uses the hours of service of the drivers dataset as the foundation for the algorithms that determine drivers’ available drive/shift/cycle hours, allowing us to automatically alert drivers when they are at risk of violating any HOS rules.

FMCSA CSMS motor carrier census data

  • Motive uses the CSMS dataset to help motor carriers better understand their own safety record. Motor carriers can use Motive for Fleets to easily visualize their safety record and benchmark against other carriers.

While many technology companies are bringing incredible innovations to the consumer transportation space, the commercial transportation industry remains sorely underserved. Motive is filling this gap by building technology tools to help the three million men and women who spend their lives on the road to keep our country moving.

The other winners in the Transportation Category were:

  • InSight Data – a web application that allows transportation safety professionals to explore and access data being disseminated from the 2nd Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study.
  • TAP — a transit data analytics tool entered in the Traffic and Congestion Management category that integrates transit reporting, tracking, and performance.

As Secretary Foxx noted earlier this year, “We need to continue investing in infrastructure, but we also need to make better use of the resources we already have, and one of the most valuable resources we have is data. Although good transportation apps have been created, a nation like ours can do more.”

At Motive, we completely agree that the trucking and transportation industries need to use mobile and web tools and government resources to keep the field moving forward.