ITS - Intelligent Transportation Systems Report ITS Home Page

Executive Summary

Overview

In 2002, FHWA awarded a field operational test to the Virginia Department of Transportation entitled (VDOT) Traffic Management Center (TMC) Applications of Archived Data Operational Test. The intent of the operational test was to use archived data to effect transportation operations and management decisions. However, because an ADMS has value to a wide variety of stakeholders (14, as identified in the ADUS Standards Strategic Plan), the scope of ADMS Virginia was expanded to include applications for transportation planners as well as operators. The operational test was to build on the current state of the practice in ADMS design.

With regard to operations, algorithms supporting various Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) and Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) functions were to be considered. Performance measurement of TMC functions was also emphasized in the RFA. Since performance measurement overlaps with the activities of transportation planners, their inclusion in the development process was a natural extension of the project's scope.

A team led by VDOT's ITS Division was selected to undertake this operational test. The project was named ADMS Virginia and this term is used throughout this report to reference the project. VDOT led the effort with a team that included the University of Virginia (UVA) Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) and George Mason University (GMU). UVA subcontracted the software development part of the project to Open Roads Consulting, Inc. (ORCI). The equipment necessary for the project is hosted at the Smart Travel Laboratory (STL), a joint facility of VDOT and UVA that is located on the campus of UVA.

The project design and deployment process was divided into four phases or "builds" with each successive build providing incremental support of the preceding services, rather than a single system at the end of the project period. The build approach was used to identify important features of the system and the interface, and to apply the institutional and technical lessons learned in the early builds to later builds. Builds 1-3 concentrated on developing a fully operational ADMS for the Hampton Roads area, with each successive build adding new functions. Build 4 entailed the expansion of the ADMS to the Northern Virginia District of VDOT (NoVA), which is located in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Builds 1 through 3 completed the requirements of the original scope of work for the FOT. At the completion of Build 3, sufficient funds remained to support a fourth build. A proposal was submitted to and approved by FHWA to extend the project scope and end date to develop Build 4, extending the system to incorporate data from NoVA. The system functionality developed in Builds 1-3 was the same for both regions.

Operations Centers

Northern Virginia Smart Traffic Center

The Northern Virginia Smart Traffic Center is a high-tech communications hub situated in Arlington near the Pentagon. Controllers in this Traffic Center oversee more than 100 miles of roads. The system operates ramp meters, dynamic message signs (DMSs), highway advisory radio (HAR), and supports incident management activities.

The Center also monitors the usage of HOV lanes. Gates and gate groups are used to reverse HOV lanes to accommodate the traffic flow heading north and east in the morning and south and west in the afternoon.

Hampton Roads Smart Traffic Center

The Freeway Traffic Management System installed at the Hampton Roads Smart Traffic Center originally consisted of an extensive computer controlled, fiber-optic based communications and control network installed along 19 miles of the area freeways (I-64, -264 and I-564), 38 closed circuit television cameras, over 60 dynamic message signs strategically positioned across the entire Hampton Roads region, Wide-Area Highway Advisory Radio System, and Freeway Incident Response Teams patrolling over 70 miles of interstate in the region.

Phase 2 expansion of the Traffic Management System (TMS) was completed in March 2004. Phase 2 added 31 miles of coverage on the peninsula and southside interstates (I-64, I-264, and I- 564) with 80 additional cameras and other roadway detectors.

Phase 3 expansion is currently underway. When completed, the total system inventory for the STC will include over 275 cameras covering 113 miles of Hampton Roads freeways.

Smart Travel Lab at UVA

The Smart Travel Lab is a state-of-the-art facility that supports research and education in the rapidly emerging area of ITS. Using the latest information technologies, analysis, and modeling techniques, researchers in the lab are developing prototype systems and applications that promise to improve the effectiveness of ITS. It is a joint effort between the Department of Civil Engineering at the UVA and the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC). The Lab serves as the direct connection to transportation management systems operated by the VDOT. This connection provides researchers with direct access to real ITS data and systems. This direct access has allowed the lab to provide substantive contributions to VDOT's ITS initiative, known as the Smart Travel Program.

Purpose of Evaluation

The primary purpose of the evaluation is to assess how well the ADMS Virginia project met its objectives, namely:

Summary and Lessons Learned

Previous | Next