In the present day, data for vehicle accidents in Puerto Rico for the past five years are not available. Graduate students from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) who wish to develop a research project regarding vehicle accidents cannot focus on data from Puerto Rico due to the lack of this type of information; these students have to rely on either out-of-date data or records from other countries.
Vehicle accidents in Puerto Rico are documented by the police officer at the scene, who prepares an initial report to be kept at the police station and a second report to be sent to the Central Station. At the Central Station, statistics are computed and shared with the Puerto Rico DTOP. The process of transferring the data from the Central Station to the DTOP, however, is flawed, and has resulted in a database that is currently not updated and therefore, not reliable.
The main goal of the research study is to develop a mobile computer application for documenting and sharing data regarding vehicular accidents. The developed application will benefit the police workforce, the Puerto Rico DTOP, and higher education institutions by providing the means to collect accident data accurately and making it available for further research . The detailed objectives are:
1. Determine relevant data needed from accident reports and the key features of this data. This first step will help in the creation of reports, the development of the database and the proper transfer of the data to other interested agencies.
2. Conduct an extensive literature survey on off-the-shelf equipment, and available software platforms for the development and deployment of the mobile application.
3. Select the proper architecture for the mobile application software and reporting system. The initial system will be deployed at a small-scale; however the design must be scalable.
4. Develop a mobile application that will substitute the police report that is filed in the field when a vehicle accident is reported.
5. Develop an accident data sharing system among the interested parties (i.e. local police station, central police station, Puerto Rico DTOP, and higher-education institutions). The collected data and reports could be available to the general public.
6. Use data mining algorithms on the collected accident report data to develop transportation informatics.
Researchers: Dr. Ivette Cruzado (Associate Professor, Civil Engineering and Surveying Department, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus) and Dr. Manuel Rodriguez-Martinez (Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez Campus)
Partners: Police Workforce, Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, by its acronym in Spanish)
Data Sources: Accident data from police reports, surveys from police officers, and historical data on vehicle accidents from the DTOP.