Beware of challenges involved in developing an integrated statewide operations system for traffic monitoring, incident data capture, weather information, and traveler information—all seamlessly controlled by a central software system.
Statewide systems implementation experience from iFlorida Model Deployment
- Statewide Monitoring System: Balance the tradeoff between cost-savings and system effectiveness while developing a statewide monitoring system. Twenty-five traffic monitoring stations, including radar for traffic detection and video, were deployed at existing microwave communication towers, which allowed cost-savings. These monitoring stations used the bandwidth available in the microwave network, but the bandwidth limit was inadequate to transmit traffic and video data back to the District 5 Regional Traffic Management Center (D5 RTMC). FDOT noted that using the locations of microwave towers as the primary factor in selection of the traffic monitoring sites might have been a mistake. A better system would have possibly resulted from selecting sites on the basis of their usefulness in supporting transportation decision making, and then taking advantage of microwave tower locations only if they were consistent with the selected monitoring sites. The statewide monitoring system, however, allowed sharing of traffic video with the Statewide Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), though this system was not used extensively because no significant hurricane evacuations occurred during the project evaluation period. FDOT also noted that the cost of maintaining the statewide monitoring system was high while the demand for data generated by it was low.
- Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Incident Data: Develop a reliable interface between the FHP CAD and the Traffic Management Center software system. An interface was established between the FHP Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and FDOT to transmit FHP CAD data to D5 RTMC. These data included information about incidents that occurred across the state. FDOT found that the FHP CAD interface provided more useful data for supporting statewide traveler information than those obtained from the statewide monitoring system.
- Weather Data: Ensure that contract with the vendors requires establishing compatibility of the RWIS data format with the RTMC’s central software. FDOT contracted out for weather data and forecasts for each Florida Intra-state road segment. The supplier used software to fuse weather data from multiple sources and generate weather forecasts for each road segment at various time intervals, and then provided these data and forecasts to D5 RTMC. The weather data vendor also provided severe weather alerts that covered entire counties and individual roads. FDOT received additional data from a network of Road Weather Information System (RWIS) stations that were deployed at locations across the state. The interface between RWIS data management software and the iFlorida central CRS software was a problem. The contractual language between the two contractors involved did not make it clear who was responsible for fixing the problem. When systems developed by different contractors must interact, the contract should clearly define the interface that would be used as well as the responsibilities of the contractors developing the interface.
- Statewide Traveler Information: Use creative but reliable means to develop the statewide traveler information data stream. As part of the iFlorida deployment, FDOT established a statewide 511 traveler information system, which was managed by the D5 RTMC based on statewide data obtained from the statewide monitoring system, the FHP CAD incident information, and the weather information discussed above. A Web site also provided travelers with access to statewide traveler information. However, there were challenges in procuring and compiling traveler information data for a statewide system. The wide spacing between the statewide monitoring system stations meant that the system was not very useful at supporting statewide traveler information services. The FHP-CAD data turned out to be the primary source of statewide traveler information, with the FDOT staff suggesting in retrospect that some of the resources spent on the statewide monitoring system might have been better spent on developing interfaces to additional (local) police CAD systems across the state. When available source of incident information sometimes left holes in coverage, RTMC operators used creative methods such as analyzing 511 user comments to correct 511 messages that might have been in error.
- Condition Reporting System: Beware that major sources of problems in a complex statewide system are in developing operations interfaces between the central control system and the subsystems. The iFlorida Condition Reporting System (CRS) was a software system intended to consolidate the traffic, incident, and weather information and help the D5 RTMC staff manage the traveler information resources and other tools used to manage traffic. Long-standing problems occurred with the interfaces between the CRS and a host of other subsystems that included the FHP CAD system, the weather provider, the travel time server, and the dynamic message signs. From November 2005 through November 2007, FDOT's efforts focused on eliminating the problems with the CRS software. Different versions of the CRS were applied to the Orlando and statewide road networks. This system did not work as intended and was eventually abandoned and replaced with software developed by a different vendor.
Author: Robert Haas (SAC); Mark Carter (SAIC); Eric Perry (SAIC); Jeff Trombly (SAIC); Elisabeth Bedsole (SAIC): Rich Margiotta (Cambridge Systematics)
Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590
Source Date: 01/30/2009
EDL Number: 14480URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31000/31051/14480.htm
Average User Rating
Lesson of the Month for October, 2010 !
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Freeway Management > Surveillance > Traffic
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > En Route Information > 511
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traveler Information > Pre-Trip Information > 511
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Traffic Incident Management > Surveillance & Detection > Traveler Reported
Intelligent Transportation Systems > Road Weather Management > Surveillance, Monitoring, & Prediction > Atmospheric Conditions
Major Initiatives > Integrated Corridor Management Systems
Major Initiatives > Nationwide Surface Transportation Weather Observing and Forecasting System - Clarus
Major Initiatives > Emergency Transportation Operations
Other Program Activities > 511 Travel Information
Other Program Activities > Public Safety
Other Program Activities > Real Time Traveler Information
Other Program Activities > Rural ITS Deployment
CCTV, closed circuit television cameras, road monitoring, sensors, vehicle detector, traffic detection, traffic monitoring, congestion monitoring, RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, weather station, environmental sensing station