The FHWA Advanced Transportation Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) Program Provided Lessons on Institutional, Project Management, and Technical Challenges Experienced During Initial Deployments.
2020 Program Report: Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) Program
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) established the Advanced Transportation Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) Program to make competitive grants for the deployment of advanced transportation technologies. This study provided credible and useful information on the effectiveness of grantees in meeting their projected deployment plans and findings on the safety, mobility, environmental, operational efficiency, and other impacts of the technology deployments. This study contained an overview of 28 ATCMTD projects performed during Fiscal Years (FY) 2016 through 2018, highlighting performance measures used, and initial grantee insights and lessons learned regarding their technology deployments. Some of the key technologies included Connected Vehicles (CVs), automated vehicles (AVs), adaptive traffic signal control, advanced traveler information systems, Integrated Corridor Management (ICM)/Decision Support Systems (DSS), green technology such as electric vehicles, and infrastructure maintenance and monitoring technologies.
Initial findings and insights from grantees revealed the following institutional, project management, and technical challenges and lessons learned:
- Engage technology vendors or manufacturers to provide hands-on demonstration and training for equipment deployment to validate and verify technology capabilities and readiness. Continuous engagement with vendors and manufacturers, especially prior to the design phase, is important as it can facilitate a discussion of desired functionality, application use cases, and other details regarding the technology before deployment.
- Test all equipment prior to deployment. Perform on-site pilots or laboratory setting tests prior to deployment would also be essential to validate and verify technology capabilities and readiness and minimize potential technology challenges.
- Be flexible and adjust existing practices or standards to accommodate the deployment of the new technologies as needed. As some of the newness of technologies involved in the deployments may not have been significantly developed beforehand, entities involved should be flexible since there is room to consider adjusting existing practices or standards as appropriate. This would be key to accommodate the deployment of new technologies successfully.
- Establish consensus on project objectives, decision-making framework, and a communications plan at the onset to minimize initial coordination challenges. Multiple grantees emphasized the importance of coordination and organization across public and private agencies and stakeholders in early stages of the process. Identifying a small group of key individuals empowered to make decisions and convenes regularly to review current issues can be beneficial. For innovative technologies such as AVs, share AV insurance requirements with vendors in early coordination efforts can enable vendors to determine the feasibility of obtaining required premiums.
- Coordinate with maintaining agencies prior to the design phase to understand and be able to incorporate network design and limitations. For example, if Agile software development processes (an iterative process with cross-functional, self-organizing teams that speed up and improve quality of development) is considered and applied, one might explore and present these processes prior to the start of concept exploration.