Lesson

To support statewide traveler information services, design and implement reliable interface software processes to capture incident data from the local and highway patrol police’s computer aided dispatch systems.

Statewide systems implementation experience from iFlorida Model Deployment


01/30/2009
Florida,United States


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The iFlorida project established methods for statewide monitoring of traffic conditions, a 511 system, and a Web site for disseminating traveler information. While the video and traffic data obtained from the statewide monitoring stations were occasionally useful to confirm information about incidents that occurred within the range of the video cameras, most incidents were not within camera range. Because of wide spacing between the monitoring stations, data from the statewide monitoring system alone were inadequate to meet the needs for statewide traveler information services. A supplementary source of data, particularly for incident information, was the Florida Highway Patrol Computer Aided Dispatch (FHP CAD) system. However, there were challenges to incorporate the FHP CAD data into the Condition Reporting System (CRS), the central data warehouse software for iFlorida. Lessons learned include:
  • Develop a robust electronic interface for obtaining comprehensive incident information data from the highway patrol police organizations. Prior to the iFlorida project, the FHP maintained a Web site that included selected incident information extracted from its CAD systems across the state. Because the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 (D5) Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) activities prior to iFlorida were focused on I-4 and restricted to the Orlando area, the FHP CAD Web site was rarely used by RTMC operators. If an RTMC operator wanted information about an incident on I-4, the operator could request it from the co-located FHP CAD Troop D dispatchers. With the advent of iFlorida and its plan for a new statewide traveler information system, the D5 RTMC needed statewide incident information, so the iFlorida project included developing an interface between the FHP CAD and the CRS (iFlorida’s central software). However, the CRS presentation of incident data obtained from this interface with FHP CAD did not operate as expected, for example, it did not effectively restrict incidents to those on roads included in the iFlorida statewide system jurisdiction and it sometimes placed an incident at an incorrect location. When the CRS failed to operate as expected, RTMC operators referred to the FHP Web site directly for statewide incident information in order to populate the statewide 511 system.
  • Beware that interfacing with just the highway patrol police may not be adequate to get complete incident data. A key limitation noted by FDOT with regard to FHP CAD incident information was that it was not inclusive of all incidents, as the local police rather than FHP responded to incidents at some locations. This meant that FDOT might not be aware of incidents at some locations, so the statewide traveler information was sometimes incomplete. Subsequently, FDOT undertook steps to remedy this limitation by making the 511 user feedbacks on unreported incidents available to RTMC operators.
  • Develop a reliable filtering mechanism to capture correct incident data from the police CAD systems. The primary sources of incident information for the CRS were the FHP CAD system and RTMC operator input. However, RTMC operators found using the CRS extracted CAD information difficult because the CRS did not filter the FHP CAD incidents effectively for iFlorida roads. At times, an RTMC operator was required to spend most of his time deleting FHP CAD information for incidents occurring on roads outside the iFlorida limits. Nonetheless, the CRS provided tools that FDOT used to manage 511 messages. However, in May 2007, the CRS contractor discontinued development of the CRS and the CRS software failed. FDOT subsequently migrated to SunGuide as its traffic management center software and, by November 2007, was using SunGuide to manage 511 messages for the statewide 511 system.
The FHP CAD data served as a valuable source of information for the iFlorida’s statewide traveler information service, which was to increase traveler satisfaction and enhance mobility on the roadways. As evident from iFlorida’s experience, in order to effectively use the police CAD data for traveler information, it is essential to deploy a communications interface that will present relevant information.


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Source

iFlorida Model Deployment Final Evaluation Report

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: 14480

URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31000/31051/14480.htm

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Lessons From This Source

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To support statewide traveler information services, design and implement reliable interface software processes to capture incident data from the local and highway patrol police’s computer aided dispatch systems.

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Lesson ID: 2010-00541