At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many state department of transportation (DOT) employees with jobs that could be done remotely were ordered to work from home. This occurred very quickly and DOTs had to make a variety of adjustments, such as decentralizing work activities, transitioning information technology support actions to accommodate the new work environments, and, in some states, relocating transportation operations center staff members to their homes. The purpose of this research was to document and share ENTERPRISE Pooled Fund Study members’ initial operational responses to COVID-19 – gathered through phone interviews and a virtual peer exchange – for application to future events or as part of daily operations during the pandemic. It is important to note that the information gathered for this project focuses on ENTERPRISE member agencies’ experiences at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 2020 through April 2021. At the time of this publication, ENTERPRISE members continue to plan and adjust to the prolonged pandemic.
Traffic Management Center (TMC) operators need to be alerted of roadway incidents (e.g., crashes, stalled vehicles, slowed or stopped traffic) in a timely manner to initiate response efforts and manage the resulting traffic implications. Commercially available products can provide automated incident detection (AID) functionality with alerts to TMC operators. This project researched the state of practice for commercially available AID systems. The project focused on products and tools that detect multiple types of common roadway incidents (e.g., crashes, stalled vehicles, debris, slow or stopped traffic) and provide alerts to TMC operators. The project objectives were to understand the various AID capabilities offered and to define common user needs for TMC operator use of AID systems. To accomplish the objectives, the project identified 42 common TMC operator user needs for AID that were used to guide seven vendor demonstrations of AID products to document their capabilities. Two transportation agencies also demonstrated platforms developed in-house to assist in AID. Finally, a peer exchange webinar featured seven transportation agencies highlighting their experiences with AID products. The AID systems reviewed for this project vary in detection capabilities, detection coverage, and detection environments. In addition, all products or agency platforms are configurable, provide alerts to TMC operators and can be integrated with an agency’s ATMS. The product capabilities documented and the TMC operator common user needs for AID can be used and modified by ENTERPRISE members to identify their agency’s specific needs for deploying AID systems.
The ENTERPRISE Pooled Fund Study conducted this project to develop a consistent communication approach for providing transportation agency map updates to mapping/navigation companies that utilize DOT-generated data for various applications such as route guidance. To accomplish the project objective, a survey was distributed to DOTs to document the processes used by those agencies that have provided map updates to mapping/navigation companies. Interviews were then conducted with select mapping/navigation companies to document their process for receiving map updates from DOTs to make updates to their digital maps. A webinar was held with ENTERPRISE members, survey respondents and mapping/navigation companies to gather additional input on the process. Based on the information gathered from the survey, webinar and interviews, a framework was developed to assist DOTs as they provide map updates to select mapping/navigation companies. The steps DOTs follow to submit a map change are similar, but because details may vary by each mapping/navigation company, a separate framework was developed for each company. The framework developed in this project offers a first step toward consistently submitting map updates to mapping/navigation companies and identifies additional efforts states may collectively consider for defining and standardizing the process nationally in the future.
ENTERPRISE initiated this project to review the current state of traveler information practice focused on reporting weather events and explore the concept of a traveler information community of practice (CoP). The CoP could enable information sharing among traveler information coordinators who manage state and local department of transportation (DOT) traveler information systems. To accomplish the project objectives an online survey was distributed to traveler information contact(s) in each U.S. state as well as the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The goals of the survey were to gather information about traveler information road weather reporting processes and activities and understand the current needs that might be met through a CoP. Based on the interest in a CoP gathered through the survey results, initial discussions were held with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) about the potential to accomplish a traveler information CoP, either by creating an activity or leveraging one or more existing activities. AASHTO has included an activity to create a traveler information CoP within AASHTO’s Committee on Transportation System Operations (CTSO).
Several third-party data providers offer traffic data for a variety of transportation purposes. Many agencies use third-party probe data for freeway operations and some agencies also use this data on arterials to assist in overall operations. For this effort, ENTERPRISE members were interested in understanding the uses and suitability of probe speed data on arterials to support deploying or expanding operational uses. The purpose of this research was to assist ENTERPRISE members in understanding the overall status and key uses of arterial probe speed data for operations (real-time or post analyses) from a select number of agencies. This project focused on vehicle probe speed data without the need for deploying and maintaining equipment in the right-of-way. It excludes probe speed data that requires additional roadside infrastructure (e.g. Bluetooth, non-intrusive detectors).
Wrong-way driving is a growing concern on roadways, especially because resulting crashes tend to be severe and often result in fatalities and serious injuries. Transportation agencies are deploying on-road countermeasures at select locations. However, these countermeasures can only go so far to reduce wrong-way crashes. In-vehicle navigation systems and mobile applications hold significant potential to reduce wrong-way crashes. These interventions could reach many more drivers than on-road countermeasures alone, by providing alerts at all times and all locations while the application is being used. During this project, the ENTERPRISE Pooled Fund conducted outreach to automobile manufacturers and mobile app developers to explore the potential for in-vehicle navigation systems and mobile apps to provide wrong-way driving alerts.