ITS Technical Presentation Series Newsletter

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1 ITS Technical Presentation Series Newsletter Upcoming ITS Technical Presentation Webinars May 10 th, :00pm ET Jun. 19 th, :00pm ET Systems & Application Software Freeway & Arterial Management Missed the most recent webinar? Add us to your calendar! Traffic Incident Management Webinar Recap: Florida s Rapid Incidence Scene Clearance (RISC) Program Contributed by Ingrid Birenbaum Guest speaker Paul Clark, Statewide Traffic Incident Management/Commercial Vehicle Operations Program Manager (TIM/CVO) for the Florida Department of Transportation, gave a presentation about Florida s Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC) Program Annual Report during a recent Atkins Technical Presentation Series webinar. Atkins supports Mr. Clark as the TIM/CVO Program Consultant, providing on-site staff support and expertise in TIM strategic planning, data collection and performance measurement, and commercial vehicle operations. Mr. Clark first provided an overview of RISC, the innovative program that provides monetary incentives to towing and recovery companies to respond quickly and adequately to incidents involving large commercial and large non-commercial vehicles such as RVs or large marine vessels in transport on Florida s highways. The concept started at Florida s Turnpike Enterprise FTE) in 2004, and the program was expanded for statewide use in 2008 with a budget (separate from FTE) of $4M for the initial two-year period. Technical Practice Area POINTS OF CONTACT Communication Networks Mike Lubin Data Collection & Performance Measures Charles Lattimer Freeway & Arterial Management Alf Badgett Systems & Application Software Steve Novosad Traffic Incident Management Ingrid Birenbaum Traffic Signal Systems Ashlyn Morgan Traveler Information Brad Williamson Volume 25 Spring 2012 RISC enables responders to safely and quickly clear major incidents from highways, enabling a quick return to normal and safe operations and reducing the occurrence of secondary crashes. Florida s program is designated primarily for use on limited access highways, and it provides standardized responses with resources needed for recovery efforts. While 24/7 services and equipment availability are required, RISC is only used when significant impacts to traffic and safety are evident; the contract incentives encourage towing and recovery responders to work in an expeditious manner. Story continues on Page 2 Page 1

2 Traffic Incident Management Webinar Recap, contd. The incident timeline for RISC includes four primary components: Activation when the initial incident occurs and the contractor is notified Arrival time between contractor notification and on-scene arrival with all required equipment; the contractor receives a $600 flat rate service payment if his arrival time is within 60 minutes NTP time period from arrival to authorization to begin work Clearance time period from NTP to when all lanes are open to traffic 90 minute clearance $2500 bonus and $1000 bonus if additional equipment is used 180 minute clearance $0 bonus 180+ minute clearance $10/minute penalty assessed For the 89 activations in FDOT s FY 2010/2011, 79 achieved the clearance incentive bonus payments. Decreases have been observed in all timeline components, leading to statewide average incident duration decreases from minutes to minutes for this highly successful program. Page 2

3 Data Collection & Performance Measures Measuring Performance of Urban Corridors: GDOT s Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP) Contributed by Whitney D Annunzio (whitney.d Transportation agencies continue to make significant efforts toward improving operations, maintenance, and performance measures on their roadways. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has been engaged in these efforts since 2005 when they began implementing statewide programs to invest in upgraded hardware and improved signal operations. To build upon this mission, GDOT has recently implemented the Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP) in the metro-atlanta area. This program will utilize expert consultants to manage and maintain select corridors with the vision to increase travel throughput by minimizing congestion and reducing delays along regional commuter corridors through improved signal operations. GDOT has selected a team of consultants, including Atkins, to be corridor managers for the RTOP. A major aspect of achieving their vision is performance measurement. The corridor manager will be fully responsible for tracking two different aspects of performance management output measures and outcome measures. Output measures are focused on the performance and maintenance of the physical system itself. The corridor manager will be responsible for tracking and maintaining the operations of all equipment, including vehicle detection, signal equipment and other ITS components. Output measures will track the percent of operability of devices (must be greater than 90 percent), complaint response times (must be less than 24 hours), and proactive identification of equipment malfunctions (must be greater than 70 percent). The corridor will be responsible for meeting these goals, as well as reporting their continued performance to GDOT on a weekly basis. Outcome measures are focused on the overall effectiveness of the program whether or not the vision is being met. In order to gauge this, the corridor manager will be responsible for tracking the travel times, volumes, stops and delays, customer satisfaction, travel time reliability, and queue studies. Each of these factors will be measured periodically and reported to GDOT. This program implemented by GDOT is a commitment to the public to actively monitor, manage and maintain traffic signals throughout the region. The Atkins team is looking forward to being a part of this program and assisting in the continued improvement of operations and performance in the metro-atlanta area. Communication Networks Cloud Networks Contributed by Mike Lubin Increasingly often, Atkins engineers are hearing that vendors are using the cloud to deliver network solutions for our clients. But what exactly is the cloud? At its core, the concept of cloud computing takes advantage of the fact that servers today operate at far less than their maximum capacity. Cloud computing provides computation, software applications, data access, data management and storage resources without requiring users to know the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. In fact, a client s application software may be distributed across many physical servers located around the country or even the world. End-users access cloud-based applications while the business software and data are stored on servers at remote locations. Cloud application providers strive to give the same or better service and performance than if the software programs were installed locally on end-user computers. Story continues on Page 4 Page 3

4 Communication Networks Cloud Networks, contd. How do you get into the cloud? Cloud computing is a service offered by many companies with more and more companies joining the marketplace each year. Essentially a company has a server farm and provides access through a private network or the Internet. Below is a sampling of companies that provide enterprise cloud computing services. Amazon Web Services Google Microsoft VMWare SalesForce.com OpenStack Verizon Cisco AT&T Citrix The Benefits Cost savings is a major benefit allowing companies to invest in fewer servers to do the job that once took many dedicated servers. The greatest benefit of a cloud approach is that it allows companies to create an agile, virtual infrastructure that can be scaled up or down as needed and provisioned on demand as a service. Cloud networking solutions enable companies to deliver applications and services on demand, with the performance, security and availability that is needed, all controlled and maintained automatically by the cloud provider. Cloud computing technology is much simpler to integrate with existing enterprise applications and can be implemented faster than traditional physical servers. Cloud computing applications often go live in a few weeks or months at a far lower cost than traditional systems. There is typically no hardware or software installation besides the client s application software. The infrastructure is in the cloud, or housed by the vendor accessed through the Internet. This results in lower capital expenditures and a more efficient use of the physical servers so that the cloud provider has a lower investment in hardware. Cloud computing infrastructures offer improved scalability, fool-proof disaster recovery, and greatly decreased downtime largely because the virtual machine operating systems can transfer applications among physical servers instantly if a server should fail. Cloud computing using virtual machines is the wave of the immediate future. Cloud computing is expected to enjoy an adoption rate and growth of between 30 to 40 percent per year every year for the next five years. Its promise of substantial benefits will drive this adoption. 1 1http:// Page 4

5 Traveler Information Travel Time Reporting: Keeping the Public Interested Contributed by Mamta Bhandari Over the last ten years, travel times have emerged as an important metric to report traffic flow to the traveling public. State Departments of Transportation have adopted and accelerated their travel time programs due to the following influential factors: Travel time information is something that drivers easily understand and find useful. Travel time information has a greater potential to shape driver behavior than other types of traveler data. Communication and display technologies now make the provision of such information cost-effective. Emergence of outsourced data from providers such as Inrix or Traffic.com has reduced the need for creating and maintaining a dedicated sensor network. More and more agencies are now populating their Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) with travel times on a round-the-clock basis, rather than only at peak times, in addition to using other technologies such as Smartphones, in-vehicle navigation, and radio broadcasts to distribute travel time information to the public. However, there has been concern that pushing this information out on a 24/7 schedule would lead to the public simply ignoring the travel time messages or not viewing the high travel time in the appropriate context. Because of these concerns, transportation agencies are always looking for ways to draw attention to unusually high travel times. In 2008, Florida s Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) commissioned the University of Central Florida to study the impact of DMS on customer experience. 1 As a result of this study, the Authority learned that their customers would prefer to be alerted of abnormal travel times by means of a flashing DMS message. In response, the OOCEA implemented a change to their travel time message to include the word Alert and to automatically flash abnormally high travel time messages on their signs. These alerts are based upon deviations from historical travel time data. Flashing Travel Time Alert ( On Phase) The Authority s flashing travel time alert feature is an example of a simple enhancement to an existing traffic management system that provides added value to the traveling public. In the current economic environment, agencies have to continue to look for creative improvements to current systems that don t require large capital expenditures. To do this successfully, agencies need to continuously understand the needs and preferences of their customers through active engagement. 1 Lattimer, Charles and L.A. Griffin. Implementation of Alerts for High Travel Times on the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority s Dynamic Message Signs. ITS America Annual Meeting, Page 5

6 Systems & Application Software Connected Vehicle Technology: An Introduction Contributed by Steve Novosad In the early to mid 2000s, the United State Department of Transportation (USDOT) began a research initiative focused on vehicles communicating with vehicles (V2V) and vehicles communicating bi-directionally with infrastructure (V2I). The initiative was known as the vehicle integration initiative (VII). Over the last seven years, VII underwent many modifications and enhancements to evolve into what it is today. The goal of today s connected vehicle program is the development and deployment of a fully connected transportation system that makes the most of multi-modal, transformational applications and requires a robust underlying technological platform. The platform is a combination of well-defined technologies, interfaces, and processes ensuring safe, stable, interoperable, reliable system operations that minimize risk and maximize opportunities. Connected vehicle research has been organized into the following focus areas: Connected Vehicle Technology Connected Vehicle Applications Connected Vehicle Technology Policy and Institutional Issues Use of Dedicated Short Range Communications A successful platform will be developed through a process of thorough and considered research and will meet a set of rigorous criteria: The platform will allow for growth, expandability, and incorporation of newly evolving technologies. In knowing the architectural configuration and definition of interfaces, creative private-sector firms will be able to develop new applications that are not yet envisioned but remain for future imagination. And finally, the platform will be developed based on the complexity and range of human behaviors that will interact with and impact upon the system. The V2V and V2I Technology Test Bed and affiliated interoperable test bed environments are real-world, operational test beds that allow the supporting vehicles, infrastructure, and equipment to serve the needs of public and private sector testing and certification activities. Currently there are six test beds in the United States that are shown below: Story continues on Page 7 Page 6

7 Systems & Application Software Connected Vehicle Technology, contd. The technology used in the program supports interoperability; any vehicle that operates with a test bed in one location will be able to operate with the test beds in other locations. The vision for the test beds is to establish multiple locations as part of a connected system that can support continued research, testing, and demonstration of connected vehicle concepts, standards, applications, and innovative products. The test environments will also serve as precursors or foundations for State and local deployments using connected vehicles technologies. In order to move connected vehicle from the testing to deployment, USDOT is collaborating with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to facilitate the use of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) as a means to perform critical safety applications such as collision avoidance. USDOT is also working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as it prepares for its 2013 decision on whether to begin the process to mandate DSRC radios in all light vehicles. USDOT is conducting the Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Michigan that will provide the data needed by NHTSA to make its decision. USDOT plans to follow up the Safety Pilot with a series of regional model deployments to continue its research and to spread the implementation of the technology. The Technical Presentation Series Newsletter is produced quarterly. For additional information, please contact Katie Glidden at For technical questions regarding this edition s articles, please contact the contributor or the Technical Practice Area Leader listed on Page 1. Page 7

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