As discussed at the 2017 TRB Annual Meeting
There are a variety of software products that accomplish similar things around the world, and a lack of coordination.
Code is often written for the specific needs of a single agency rather than being built for transferability.
Agency-owned code is often not well-maintained. When it is, different agencies pay for consultants to fix their specific code, when it could be easily consolidated.
Why not have a piece of software that we are all constantly improving, instead of fixing when hired for a specific project.
So that as much as possible we can focus our efforts on knowing the same tools.
Software “Membership Fee”
Each agency could put a fixed amount of money into the foundation and a % goes to improvement and maintenance of a suite of “Zephyr Projects”
Improvements would include:
Project “Membership Fee”
Each agency gives a fixed amount of money to a specific project to be built with the pooled money.
Have a clear contract to both contributors and clients.
Conduct testing of the software to guarantee that it works in different situations – have a quality control group
Zephyr could issue contracts. Agencies would give money to Zephyr to maintain the different/common software. Zephyr would contract with consultants.
Zephyr should own the repository. They should organize and maintain, and add the contributions to the repository.
How transferable are models and who owns the model? If a specific entity owns it efforts can be optimized.
Develop a clear management structure to keep, maintain, and update Zephyr software projets.
Define the required resources: monetary and human.
Zephyr should also keep software in different stages of development: having both an incubator and a platform for more developed software.
ActivitySim could be a good starting point. OMX APIs as well.