Section 12: Intelligent Transportation Systems

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1 Section 12: Transportation Control Center (TCC) Setup The Georgia Department of Transportation s, or GDOT, NaviGAtor system is among the most progressive Intelligent Transportation Systems, or ITS in the United States. It incorporates many functions that can be mapped to various categories of User Services and Market Packages found in the National ITS Architecture. The NaviGAtor system is composed of nine interconnected installations of the NaviGAtor software with associated field devices for each installation. The NaviGAtor system, created for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was intended for long term, statewide usage anticipating the development of a Statewide ITS Architecture. The initial vision was to offer a comprehensive transportation management system that could meet three primary objectives: 1. Support the management of the capacity of the highways in Georgia. 2. Support the management of the capacity of the arterials in Georgia. 3. Facilitate communication and cooperation among many different agencies and users involved in Transportation Management. To further the mission of enabling an interconnected transportation management environment among state, county, and city departments, Transportation Control Centers, or TCCs, were established around the metropolitan Atlanta area in the Counties of Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett, as well as the City of Marietta, City of Alpharetta, and the City of Atlanta. Outside the metro Atlanta area, TCCs were established in Athens, Macon, Savannah, and Valdosta. Each TCC, with the exception of Valdosta, has its own instance of NaviGAtor that supports all NaviGAtor capabilities. All of these installations except Athens, Savannah and Valdosta are interconnected and share device access and control, and they are designed to facilitate communication among those involved in, or responsible for, traffic management through shared event management records. While most of the functionality to support the vision for the needs of the, Transportation Management Center, or TMC, was included in NaviGAtor, the vision for external agencies was not fully matured. The expected primary focus of external agencies, central traffic signal control, was never successfully implemented due to complexity and time constraints. Figure 1 depicts responsibilities of the TMC compared to a typical external agency operating a TCC. Long Transportation Plan

2 TMC Other Other TCC Traffic Incident Management Figure 12-1 Traffic Signal Maintenance Traffic Incident Management Freeway Control & Traffic Incident Management Research Pre-Construction Construction Planning Street Maintenance Current NaviGAtor capability is primarily focused on traffic incident management as shown in the pie chart. NaviGAtor capability is more closely aligned with TMC operational responsibilities than TCC responsibilities. In addition to the lack of functionality needed to support TCC operations, the NaviGAtor technical architecture contains a number of limiting factors that have hindered the growth and continued expansion of the system. These limiting factors are detailed below: The NaviGAtor system is complex and can be costly to expand. System expansion requires the deployment of stand-alone instances of the software requiring the purchase of expensive servers, video switches and installation of miles of fiber optic cable. It is very expensive to provide access to the NaviGAtor system for agencies not already connected to the GDOT network. Access to video requires access to the GDOT network, a dedicated fiber optic connection, dedicated space to house all the equipment and access to a video port for each video stream required. The NaviGAtor architecture is not currently designed to support Center-to-Center legacy system integration. As NaviGAtor is deployed across the state in a stand-alone instance configuration, a tremendous overhead burden is placed on the Department s Office of Traffic Operations and Office of Information Technology to provide maintenance and support. The cost along with the technical limiting factors, coupled with the TMC-centric functional focus, have caused use of NaviGAtor s capabilities outside of the TMC, specifically by city and county Departments of Transportation, to be limited. There is often confusion regarding the term NaviGAtor. For purposes of this document we will differentiate the use of the term NaviGAtor into three areas; the NaviGAtor Program, the NaviGAtor System or the NaviGAtor Software. The NaviGAtor program is defined as all ITS efforts within the GDOT. This program includes a number of ITS efforts in addition to the NaviGAtor system such as: Long Transportation Plan

3 The TMC Operations The HERO Program The 511 Program The Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program (TIME) NaviGAtor Program Figure 12-2 NaviGAtor System HERO Program C C C C C C C C CC TV NaviGAtor.com NaviGAtor Software System Security Management Services (SES) Services (MS) Ramp Meterin V Statewide ITS Architecture Audio/Video Services (VID) System Services (SS) 511 Geographical Information Services (GIS) Field Device Acquisition Services (FDA) TIME The NaviGAtor system is defined as the network of NaviGAtor software installations and all connected infrastructure components. The current NaviGAtor system is continually expanding. As of March 2005, the system includes (1) nine interconnected NaviGAtor software installations supporting over 240 centerline miles of fiber, 530 Pan, Tilt and Zoom, (2) Closed Circuit Television, or CCTV, Cameras, (3) 170 processors receiving video from 1245 black-and-white fixed Video Detection system cameras, or VDS, (4) 30 Remote Traffic Microwave Sensor, or RTMS, units, (5) 98 Changeable Message Signs, or, (6) 5 Ramp Meters, (7) 48 Weather Stations, (8) four miles of Presence Detection, or PDS, (9) Highway Advisory Radio, or HAR, capability, (10) planned and unplanned event management, and response plan management. The NaviGAtor software is only one element of the overall NaviGAtor program. The NaviGAtor software is a set of software modules that provide operators with the ability to collect traffic data, view large portions of the roadway network, disseminate traffic information, and monitor and respond to various traffic events that occur within the State of Georgia. Long Transportation Plan

4 The NaviGAtor software architecture is a distributed, client-server architecture. This clientserver relationship is many-to-one, allowing multiple Graphic User Interfaces applications to make concurrent requests to a single server. The network communication protocol between server and client is based on Talarian/Tibco Smartsockets. The Navigator software is logically divided into modules. These modules handle specific tasks such as communication to field devices, database management, freeway traffic management, or support services. The following table enumerates the software modules that constitute the NaviGAtor software. NaviGAtor Subsystem/Module Breakdown SUBSYSTEM MODULE DESCRIPTION and RESPONSIBILITY Field Device Acquisition Services (FDA) - Responsible for device communication and management. FDA CMDA Changeable Message Sign Data Acquisition FDA CSDA Count Station Data Acquisition FDA HUBS Communication Hubs Management FDA HRDA Highway Advisory Radio System FDA NTCIP NTCIP Device Management FDA RMDA Ramp Meter Data Acquisition FDA TISR Traveler Information System Radar Management FDA PARK Parking Management Interface Management Services (MS) - Responsible for processing the raw field data, analyzing the data to determine current traffic conditions, and determining response plans that will intelligently handle whatever the current traffic situation dictates. MS ATMS Navigator Graphical User Interface MS CMDM Congestion Detection & Management MS DDHL Detector Data Historical Logger MS INDD Incident Detection MS INDM Incident Management MS RSPM Response Plan Management Audio/Video Services (VID) Provides operators with control for all field and control center audio and video equipment including video switching gear, video tape recorders, broadband tuners, video signal multiplexing equipment, and CCTV cameras with pan/tilt/zoom units. VID DVRS Digital Voice Recording System VID VIDS Audio/Video Manager Long Transportation Plan

5 VID SSTV Slow Scan TV Management VID XWALL Video Projection Wall Management System Services (SS) Provides services such as logging, server control, and system alarms to other software modules. SS EVLG System Event Management SS EXEC Server Execution Management SS RTDM Real-Time Data Management SS SPED Speed Data Interface to ATIS System SS STAM System Alarm Management Geographical Information Services (GIS) Provides a graphical view of the roadway network and disseminates real-time data to GDOT personnel. GIS GISC Geographical Information System Control System Security Services (SES) Provides security. SES SESS Security Services The primary users of the NaviGAtor software are TMC personnel. Since the very beginning of the NaviGAtor Program in Georgia, the primary focus has been on incident and congestion management for the metro-atlanta region. TMC operators use the system to identify and manage incidents, planned lane closures, and congestion statewide. They do this by monitoring traffic conditions via many different detection devices (CCTV, VDS, PDS, and RTMS) and by receiving calls from the traveling public. Once a problem is identified, they use NaviGAtor Program assets to respond. This involves HERO,, 911 referral, and Although the primary usage of NaviGAtor focuses on the GDOT Transportation Management Center, eight other agencies have an instance of NaviGAtor installed. Recent workshops and interviews with these stakeholders revealed that most have never used NaviGAtor to enter local incidents into the event management system. When probing into the reasons for the lack of use and interest, we found that the primary function of these TCCs is not the same as the TMC; whereas the TMC has dedicated personnel charged with managing incidents and congestion on the freeways and major state routes, most TCCs only have limited personnel with split responsibility for managing signals, street signs, repair/construction on county/city roads and incident management support. TCC personnel are only occasionally involved in responding to incidents; whereas primary incident response in local jurisdictions is usually the responsibility of the 911 Centers who dispatch the appropriate personnel (police, fire, rescue, HazMat, etc.). Currently, NaviGAtor does little to help the TCCs with their primary mandate (signal control). Consequently, since NaviGAtor has no signal control functionality and since TCC personnel only occasionally respond to incidents, NaviGAtor s capability is rarely used. For those agencies and TCCs that have an instance of NaviGAtor, each needs its own server, database, network connectivity, video switches, and peripheral infrastructure. Each operating Long Transportation Plan

6 jurisdiction owns its NaviGAtor instance, and is responsible for maintenance with guidance and assistance provided by GDOT. The NaviGAtor Web concept originated during the Metropolitan Intelligent Transportation System Integration, or MITSI, project. The MITSI project was established to be a technology role-model for enabling transportation data and device control exchange among legacy systems such as GDOT s NaviGAtor, the City of Atlanta E911 CAD system, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority SmartTrak system. A second pilot called NavWeb was initiated to explore a web services approach to C2C connectivity. It explored the exposure of Web Services interfaces to a limited subset of NaviGAtor functionality and the development of a browser-based application to exercise the exposed web services, making the selected functionality available using Internet Explorer. The pilot also explored the concept of NaviGAtor deployment using an Application Service Provider, or ASP, model in which multiple virtual instances of the NaviGAtor software are deployed on a single piece of hardware and NaviGAtor field devices are deployed using the Internet for their communications backbone instead of the installation of costly private fiber connections. It should be noted that this project was an exploratory pilot that was extremely aggressive in nature. The project was designed to touch on many technology enablers while not addressing institutional and operational issues. The pilot, while developing an architecture designed for production use, was never scoped to produce a production ready system. Between 1996 and the present, technology has continued to evolve and the National ITS vision has matured. Dramatic improvements in the performance and accessibility of information technology and telecommunications hardware offer the opportunity to explore further improvements in systems and services. Among them is the increasing prominence of web-based data exchange as a fundamental information management mechanism. In addition, the maturation of Object Oriented technologies and component-based software development practices are having a significant impact on speed and flexibility of application development. Currently NaviGAtor system deployment is accomplished through the installation of stand-alone physical instances of NaviGAtor. Deployment of these instances is time consuming and expensive. The purpose of NaviGAtor Web is to mature the viability of proliferating NaviGAtor through an Application Service Provider, or ASP, model. A single centralized server will host multiple logical instances of NaviGAtor and infrastructure such as signs and cameras will be deployed and connected directly to the Internet. This approach drastically reduces initial deployment time and costs while significantly reducing the IT overhead for support and maintenance. Reduced deployment time and costs will allow rapid acceleration of statewide installation. As NaviGAtor System expansion is exponentially accelerated, new Stakeholder demands will significantly influence the development direction of the system. The first instance of a TCC using NaviGAtor Web will be Augusta which will come on line in The adoption of NaviGAtor Web will ensure that the Brunswick will have a cost effective and efficient TCC, and additionally will offer the opportunity for Police, Fire and Port Authority to have full access to NaviGAtor Web simply by using the browser of an existing personal computer with a DSL or broad band connection to the Internet. Long Transportation Plan

7 The equipment necessary in the TCC in its simplest form will be a PC with a DSL or broadband connection to the Internet. With the provision of sufficient bandwidth to the Internet it is feasible to have a number of large screen monitors. These monitors may be used to display traffic signal maps, GIS maps with events, and images from CCTV cameras as required. One or more jurisdictions as required will be established for the MPO, each with their own map and incident response plans. The number of consoles and large monitors required will need to be determined based on the projected size of the TCC operation. Incidents and events entered would be added to the database of all NaviGAtor incidents used as the source data for the statewide 511 system which is projected to become fully operational during Section 12.1: Future Directions Glynn County is considering the development of a Transportation Management System (TMS). This is a long-range project. The goal of the TMS is to use operational controls to increase the effective capacity of the highway system. The effectiveness of the highway system will be determined by the operational control techniques utilized. Glynn County s TMS to control traffic and ensure a smooth flowing pattern may limit access to a road, use metering to provide an even flow of traffic entering the road, and improve intersection control systems. Glynn County will work with state and Federal transportation planners in the development of the TMS to ensure that state and Federal transportation operation control systems are coordinated. This will ensure that planning strategies and operation control systems are adequate. The development of the TMS will be developed to meet local needs and under the auspice of the Georgia Department of Transport and the Federal Highway Administration. The cost of the project is approximately $2.5 million. Long Transportation Plan

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