Traveler Information Applications: How Can VII Improve the Quality of Travel?

Ben McKeever
US DOT, ITS Joint Program Office
TRB Session 644: Using VII Data, Part 1
January 16, 2008

Powerpoint Version

The Critical Need for VII Agenda

  • Current state of traveler information
  • What VII provides and enables
  • Current VII activities related to traveler information
  • Conclusion/next steps

Traveler Information Today - The Good

  • Public sector progress
    • 511 widely deployed
    • 38% of freeway miles have detection (USDOT, 2006)
    • 56% of fixed route buses with AVL (USDOT, 2006)
  • Private sector progress
    • New technologies for collection and dissemination
    • Real time traffic and navigation more prominent
    • Consumer interest is growing and prices are dropping
  • Public-Private Partnerships are emerging

Traveler Information Today - The Bad

  • Most metro areas still lacking quality traffic data
  • High O&M costs effect reliability of public sector data
    • As a result, data is not trusted
    • Inadequate funding for O&M
  • Real time data on arterials is almost non-existent
  • New technologies are slow to be deployed
  • Limited data/applications for other modes (e.g. transit, parking)

VII Can Revolutionize Traveler Information

  • Complete network visibility (all roads, all modes)
  • Data Collection
    • low latency/real time
    • high granularity and reliability
  • Data Dissemination
    • Brings data into the vehicle
    • Can impact driver behavior en-route
    • Can optimize network performance

Types of Data VII Can Provide

  • Anonymous “probe” messages from vehicle to infrastructure
    • Location, heading, speed, stop events, hard breaking events, weather conditions, vehicle diagnostics
    • 2-5% penetration rate needed for accurate data
    • Transit vehicles
  • VII Advisory messages from infrastructure to vehicles
    • En-route alerts, travel times, dynamic routing, hazard warnings (e.g. icy road), parking info, transit arrival times or delays

Types of Applications VII Can Enable

  • Pre trip planning/routing for all modes
  • En-route routing around incidents
  • Transit arrival times, advisories and connection information
  • “Killer Apps” from the private sector
    • Off-board navigation using real time data on all roads
    • Door-to-door driving times
    • Real time map updates
    • Parking availability/reservations

Current VII Activities for Traveler Information

  • Michigan Development and Test Environment (DTE) and Data Use Analysis and Processing (DUAP)
  • VII California Testbed
  • New York ITS World Congress VII Demonstration

Michigan DTE and DUAP

  • Michigan DTE supports testing of public and private sector traveler information applications
  • DUAP project demonstrates public sector uses of VII data
    • Incident detection
    • Travel advisories
    • Road and weather conditions
    • Winter maintenance
    • Asset management

VII California Testbed

  • Leverages real world existing ITS for VII demonstrations
    • Integration of existing data sources with VII probe data
    • Complimentary uses of existing 511 system and VII
    • VII tolling applications
  • Congestion Initiative project will demonstrate additional VII applications
    • Dynamic pricing
    • Parking Information
    • Transit information to buses (tentative)

New York ITS World Congress Demonstration and After

  • Demonstrate numerous VII applications (including probe data collection, travel advisories, travel times, tolling, etc.) in Manhattan and Long Island
  • Support for subsequent development of congestion-mitigation and road pricing related applications (post-World Congress)


  • Current Traveler Information Systems are not adequately addressing the need for accurate, real time data on all roads and all modes
  • VII provides a wealth of data that could revolutionize the traveler information industry
  • VII enables numerous traveler information applications not currently available or mature
    • Dynamic routing around incidents in real time
    • Off-board navigation based on real time traffic conditions
    • Door-to-door driving times with best alternative
    • Multi-modal traveler information (transit arrival times and delays, parking availability/reservations)

Next Steps

  • SafeTrip-21 and ITS World Congress Demonstration in 2008
  • Monitor results of POC testing of traveler information applications
  • Look for pre-VII early winners (e.g. I-95 Corridor Coalition probe data project)
  • Leverage Congestion Initiative projects in New York and San Francisco
  • Monitor cutting edge technology for VII and Traveler Information
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