ITS JPO Newsletter January 2013

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The USDOT seeks public input on the development of the next ITS Strategic Research Plan. The USDOT has released a new document called An Open Dialogue on the Draft Focus and Themes for the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan: Engaging Stakeholders in Their Discussion and Development, which identifies the ITS-related issues that the Department will focus on for the rest of the decade and provides a platform for public discussion and feedback.

This issue of the newsletter highlights this release as well as introduces the new director of the ITS JPO, Ken Leonard. The newsletter also notes the kickoff of two integrated corridor management (ICM) demonstration sites this spring; the USDOT’s collaborative efforts with public, private, and academic organizations in developing an affiliation of connected vehicle test beds; and the opening of a new transportation management call center in Camden County, NJ.

Meet the New Director of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO): Kenneth Leonard

Kenneth LeonardKenneth M. Leonard joins the ITS JPO as the new director

Mr. Leonard has over 30 years of federal government and private sector leadership experience providing solutions in transportation, energy, environment, defense, regulatory affairs, and information systems. He joins the ITS JPO from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), where he served as the Special Project Officer and Director of the Office of Analysis, Research and Technology. In this role, he provided leadership and direction in improving project effectiveness and efficiency in FMCSA.

Mr. Leonard also served with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the Director of the Aviation Weather Office. While with FAA, he provided strategic direction in advancing cornerstone aviation weather enterprise systems and emerging technologies in support of the USDOT’s Next Generation Air Transportation Systems initiatives. Mr. Leonard is a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service.

While serving in the private sector, Mr. Leonard was a Program Manager with Advanced Management Technology, Inc., and provided management oversight of complex and innovative research and development programs involving multibillion dollar contracts. Additionally, he developed strategies to improve standard business practices and reduce program cost risks. Mr. Leonard is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Public and International Affairs, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in international economics along with graduate-level studies in economics and finance.

The USDOT Seeks Stakeholder Input on the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan

The USDOT is developing the next ITS Strategic Research Plan and wants your input. To provide the platform for such input, the USDOT recently released a new document called An Open Dialogue on the Draft Focus and Themes for the Next ITS Strategic Research Plan: Engaging Stakeholders in Their Discussion and Development, which identifies the ITS-related issues that the USDOT will focus on for the rest of the decade.

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The current ITS Strategic Research Plan—2010-2014 established a focused research agenda to prepare the next generation of ITS technologies for widespread deployment throughout the nation. This discussion document is the first step in developing the ITS research agenda for 2015 to 2019.

The purpose of the document is to identify the focus and themes for the next installment of the ITS Strategic Research Plan and invite stakeholders to participate in their discussion. This open dialogue will enable continuity of the USDOT’s current research programs while establishing new or redefined goals and objectives to meet emerging research needs.

The document presents the following broad themes for discussion:

  • Maturing Connected Vehicle Systems – Focuses on what is needed to accelerate the maturity of vehicle-based communications with surrounding systems
  • Piloting and Deployment Readiness – Focuses on the security, policy, business opportunities, capabilities, pilots, and incentives needed to support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) implementation
  • Integrating with the Broader Environment – Focuses on the integration and decision support capabilities to enable V2V and V2I interaction with other governmental services and public utilities.

The discussion document provides an opportunity for stakeholders to share their perspectives and help shape the future of federal ITS research.

To participate in the discussion, visit http://itsstrategicplan.ideascale.com. The full document is available here.

Integrated Corridor Management Demonstration Sites to “Go Live” in Spring 2013

The USDOT’s ICM Initiative is launching two demonstration sites in San Diego, CA (along I-15 corridor), and Dallas, TX (along I-75 corridor), in March 2013 and April 2013, respectively. The two sites will demonstrate and evaluate the nation’s first ICM systems. Both sites plan to use automated decision support systems (DSS) that will process information on transportation network conditions in the corridor and recommend multimodal ICM strategies based on pre-defined response plans that operators collaboratively developed to manage demand and mitigate congestion on the network.

The two sites will spend 18 to 24 months actively experimenting with integrating transportation operations along busy urban and suburban corridors. With the activation of ICM, agency personnel from transportation agencies in the states and neighboring jurisdictions will begin coordinating transportation operations more closely than ever before. The sites are pioneering two of the nation’s first automated, near-real-time DSS for the surface transportation system.

The DSS will provide transportation operators with predictive “views” of the transportation network and will suggest optimal combinations of ICM strategies to help prevent or lessen the effects of congestion—both predictable (e.g., due to rush hour) and unpredictable (e.g., due to major traffic incidents).

The systems are based on detailed operating agreements or “playbooks,” developed by multiagency corridor stakeholders over the past 2 years. These playbooks detail an array of carefully developed operational strategies designed to keep people and goods moving along the transportation system as smoothly as possible under a host of conditions and scenarios.

The first 3 to 6 months of running a live ICM system will consist of a “shake out” period where operators will fine-tune strategies, protocols, and the supporting DSS. An independent evaluation team will employ before-and-after analysis techniques to assess the effects of ICM on corridor performance, evaluate optimum combinations of ICM strategies under different operating conditions, and determine the role of traveler behavior in ICM.

ICM will likely increase travel reliability and predictability and reduce travel times, delays, fuel consumption, and emissions by managing the transportation corridor as a system. Enhanced, more actionable traveler information and more coordinated operations strategies will empower travelers with better information and more options for their trips. For example, with ICM, a traveler could receive information on congestion ahead on a route and alternative transportation options such as a nearby transit facility’s location, timing, and parking availability.

The USDOT ICM Initiative is jointly sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

Learn More about the ICM Initiative

Contact Bob Sheehan, P.E. PTOE, Systems Management Team, FHWA, Office of Operations, (202) 366-6817, to learn more about the ICM workshops or to request a workshop for your region.

Working Together Toward a Connected Future: Affiliated Connected Vehicle Test Bed Stakeholder Engagement

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is working in cooperation with public, private, and academic organizations to harness their collective abilities in transitioning connected vehicle technology toward full deployment by allowing for exchanging information, sharing deployment lessons learned, developing a common technical platform, and expanding test bed options for users of 5.9GHz dedicated short-range communications (DSRC). This collaborative effort between RITA, infrastructure device makers, operators of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) installations, and developers of applications that use V2I communications is being conducted through Affiliated Test Bed Cooperative Research and Development Agreements. Member organizations will be able to actively participate in structured exchanges of information as well as gain access to tools and resources across all facilities to support and encourage a consistent future deployment of 5.9GHz DSRC and other V2I wireless communications technology.

RITA circulated the draft agreement to stakeholders for comment and will modify and revise it accordingly to provide a single uniform agreement. This agreement streamlines the enrollment process to enable interested organizations to participate without entering into complex and prolonged membership discussions. In the coming months, RITA will make the agreement publicly available through various communication channels, including the RITA website (http://www.rita.dot.gov/) for interested parties to download, sign, return, and engage.

RITA expects to enter into a number of these agreements with various stakeholders to create an affiliation of test beds that share technical expertise and resources on mutually beneficial research and development in order to solve particular connected vehicle technological challenges and improve, promote, or further the development of connected vehicle technologies.

New Transportation Management Call Center Opens in Camden County, NJ

Camden County, NJ TMCCA new transportation management call center (TMCC) has opened in Camden County, NJ. The center, funded by the ITS JPO, was selected as part of an ITS demonstration project called Mobility Services for All Americans. The project’s goal is to reduce the number of duplicative and overlapping programs that provide transportation to the elderly and veterans, while also extending transportation services using technology.

The Camden County TMCC provides a single point of access to manage service requests, ride scheduling, and vehicle dispatch to transport veterans to appointments at the VA hospital in Philadelphia, senior citizens to medical appointments, and low-wage earners to jobs. The toll-free call center offers live reservation agents and interactive voice functioning, on-line reservations and scheduling (to be phased in over 18 months), and information and links to regional transportation and trip-planning services.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority, Senior Citizens United Service, and a group of faith-based organizations headed by the Faith Based Foundation Collaborative will operate under a federated system of transportation providers to provide service.

At the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, we are committed to providing information and engaging new and existing stakeholders throughout the research process. If you have questions about our programs, please contact Mike Pina at mike.pina@dot.gov. Thank you for your interest in the DOT’s ITS program.

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