Network-Level Evaluation Tool Showed that ITS Deployments in Michigan Reduced Traffic Network Delays by 18.6 Percent and Traffic Safety Costs by 4.0 Percent.

Researchers Conducted a Cost-Benefit Analysis on ITS Deployments throughout the State of Michigan.

Date Posted

Development of Network-Level Evaluation Tool for Managing ITS Infrastructure

Summary Information

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) maintains some of the busiest roadways in the United States and uses ITS to ensure that drivers are able to move about safely and efficiently. This study analyzed all existing ITS infrastructure on routes maintained by MDOT and created a network-level evaluation tool to assess the performance of various existing ITS deployments throughout the State of Michigan. A cost-benefit analysis of ITS infrastructure throughout Michigan was conducted based on roadway data (delay and safety etc.) to evaluate the effectiveness of these ITS deployments. ITS devices evaluated in this study include Closed-circuit television (CCTV), Dynamic message sign (DMS), microwave vehicle detectors (MVDS), environmental sensors station (ESS), roadside unit (RSU), dynamic message panel, lane control system, travel time signs, ramp meters, Active Traffic Management (ATM) corridor, curve warning and queue warning. Their supporting applications include incident management, traffic conditions (recurring), traffic conditions (non-recurring), safety, weather, lane control, and ramp metering.


This study developed a robust planning-level benefit/cost calculation methodology that used various existing roadway data resources (average annual daily traffic, congestion data etc.), benefit parameters derived from national and local research, costs from MDOT’s Device Location Form, and a calculated Gap Score (compare the difference between an existing and idealized ITS deployment that represents an full array of devices).  The cost-benefit analysis made use of the average annual benefit and average annual costs. The evaluation tool estimated benefits based on travel time or delay savings, reduced crashes, reduced vehicle operating costs, and reduced winter maintenance costs. Costs were obtained directly from the imported MDOT Device Location Form. The benefit/cost (B/C) ratio was calculated by dividing the average annual benefit gap score by the average annual costs.



  • Current ITS deployments in Michigan resulted in $251 million saving in delay and $176 million savings in crashes, which represented an approximate savings of 18.6 percent in delays on major roads and 4.0 percent reduction in costs associated with traffic safety (crashes etc.).
  • Benefit/cost analysis for sample ITS projects in Michigan showed a cost-benefit ratio between 0.7 and 16.7. The deployment of CCTV, DMS, MVDS for suburban freeway and urban freeway yielded the highest B/C ratio (ranging from 11.2 to 16.7), while the deployment of managed lanes (individual 3-lane ATM), ESS freestanding, and connected vehicles urban RSU signals yield relatively lower B/C ratio (ranging from 0.7 to 2.2).
Results Type