Research Archive

Research Plan Research Progress and Insights

The objective of the DMA research program is to foster the release of high-value, open-source applications that use synthesized, multisource ITS data to transform surface transportation management and information. The research conducted in this program is also focused on developing the tools (for instance, an open source portal), metrics, and concepts that support application development.

The current applications were identified with broad stakeholder input. In 2010, the DMA program collected and considered stakeholder needs by hosting an open call for concepts between May and October 2010. With over 90 ideas, a December 2010 workshop brought stakeholders together to discuss priorities and whether application ideas could be consolidated or bundled. Discussion also focused on the applications concepts' potential impact on four environments — arterial, freeway, corridor, and regional operational.

Using this input as a basis, a multimodal DOT team performed further ranking, scoring, and identification of synergistic applications. The result is a set of six bundles of applications that not only reflect the vision of the DMA program to enable greater public sector, multimodal system management, and modal integration — but also reflect the criteria for high-risk and high-reward investment.

Each bundle contains a set of related applications that are focused on similar outcomes (i.e., more efficient signal prioritization and timing for mobility), but perform in different capacities (i.e., transit signal priority versus emergency preemption). Importantly, each application could not work as effectively without understanding the influence of the other applications — the timeframe that they have to operate (sometimes within seconds), and the nature of the impacts and need to sequence the impacts are highly related. Thus, by developing the applications together, synergistic relationships are embedded into the algorithms resulting in:

  • Greater efficiencies – the same data and observations can be used across all of the applications as opposed to deriving such inputs separately or in varying formats
  • Less stove-piping as the applications must effectively interact
  • Greater safety and operational awareness of a broad range of impacts

The bundles and their applications include:

  • Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS)
    • Freight Dynamic Route Guidance (F-DRG)
    • Freight Real-Time Traveler Information with Performance Monitoring (F-ATIS)
    • Drayage Optimization (DR-OPT)
  • Integrated Dynamic Transit Operations (IDTO)
    • Connection Protection (T-CONNECT)
    • Dynamic Transit Operations (T-DISP)
    • Dynamic Ridesharing (D-RIDE)
  • Intelligent Network Flow Optimization (INFLO)
    • Dynamic Speed Harmonization (SPD-HARM)
    • Queue Warning (Q-WARN)
    • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC)
  • Multi-Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal System (MMITSS)
    • Intelligent Traffic Signal Control (I-SIG) — the overarching optimization algorithm that manages and optimizes preemption and priorities.
    • Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
    • Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal System (PED-SIG)
    • Freight Signal Priority (FSP)
    • Emergency Vehicle Preemption (PREEMPT)
  • Response, Emergency Staging and Communications, Uniform Management, and Evacuation(R.E.S.C.U.M.E.)
    • Incident Scene Pre-Arrival Staging Guidance for Emergency Responders
    • (RESP-STG)
    • Incident Scene Work Zone Alerts for Drivers and Workers (INC-ZONE)
    • Emergency Communications and Evaluation (EVAC)
    • Advanced Automated Crash Notification Relay (AACN–RELAY)
  • Enable Advanced Traveler Information System (EnableATIS) which is looking to develop a suite of capabilities to foster multisource data integration and delivery; promote development of dynamic, real-time multimodal traveler information and applications; improve transportation system mobility and safety; and advance research with new forms of data about traveler behavior and response to transportation operations. While no specific applications are being developed under EnableATIS, activities include expanding and exercising emerging data sets that merge multimodal data into potentially transformative traveler information, and exploring ways of increasing data collection as well as capturing traveler behavior through nomadic platforms.

While focused on different elements of the transportation system, these applications contain similar characteristics. They:

  • Use vehicle and infrastructure connectivity to enable dynamic decision making.
  • Allow managers to anticipate problems, be proactive in addressing issues, and rapidly monitor impacts on and across multimodal transportation networks.
  • Support emerging work in Decision Support Systems (DSS) — systems that can assimilate and analyze large volumes of detailed real-time and historic data to provide recommendations in formats that are most valuable to traffic managers or travelers.

In addition to application selection and development, the research is also focused on:

  • Defining multimodal performance metrics that form the basis for DSS, tools, and models.
  • Collecting real-time data for assessment (to include collaboration with the Real-Time DCM program).
  • Assessing data from historical and real-time traffic and travel behavior perspectives to understand which types of multimodal data enable dynamic, proactive decision making.
  • Identifying which public sector, multimodal dynamic applications might be of the highest value and use demonstrations to test the validity of those assumptions with stakeholders.

Research Tracks

The DMA research program includes the following tracks:

  • Track 1: Engage stakeholders for input across all phases, from foundational analysis to focused demonstrations.
  • Track 2: Conduct program planning and coordination including fundamental research and development, institutional policy, and standards that will ultimately enable public and private sector applications development, and support application impact assessments while using communications across interoperable platforms.
  • Track 3: Conduct applications development and testing for the standards, algorithms, tools, and protocols that will be needed for implementing the applications.
  • Track 4: Conduct focused demonstration and analysis based on a partnership with the Real-Time DCM and AERIS programs to demonstrate applicability in a market-based environment and assess quantifiable benefits. This track includes conducting a near-term demonstration of market-ready technologies and applications.
  • Track 5: Develop evaluation and performance measures that address the performance of the applications developed, as well as the program itself.
  • Track 6: Coordinate outreach and technology transfer to inform the transportation community on the activities of the program, and share findings and procedures with stakeholders.

Research Goals:

  • To identify transformative applications and innovative methods to manage and operate transportation systems based on the availability of new data sources and communications methods.
  • To build an application data integration foundation that will transform the data into information that can provide travelers and systems operators with greater access to real-time information about the transportation system to en- able better decision making.

Research Outcome:

The results of this research will provide the foundation (the concepts, requirements, specifications, analyses, tests, and metrics) needed for development of dynamic mobility applications.