Through the U.S. Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) SafeTrip-21 Initiative, the U.S. DOT tested a variety of technologies in a number of locations in California as well as along the I-95 corridor on the east coast. The work was summarized in a final report dated March 2011. This report presents the findings of the independent national evaluation of eight ITS applications. Part I of the report provides an overview of the initiative and the evaluation activities. Part II summarizes each application that was tested and the related evaluation findings. Part III synthesizes the evaluation findings across four topics relevant to the ITS community - collecting and using traffic conditions data, providing real-time traffic information to drivers, providing multi-modal travel information to travelers, and providing safety information to drivers.
The SafeTrip-21 Initiative captured many lessons learned during the evaluation of eight ITS applications some of the lessons included mitigating risks, identification of success factors, and the identification of targeted future research needs. Below are some of the lessons learned during the evaluation of the SafeTrip-21 Initiative that focuses on improving productivity in the deployment of ITS applications:
Identify risks related to large-scale collaboration and mitigating factors to promote effective partnerships. The SafeTrip-21 Initiative involved stakeholders across multiple organizations in existing and new partnerships crossing public, private, and academic boundaries. The evaluation of the SafeTrip-21 technologies provided insight as to how these delicate relationships are best negotiated and how long-established relationships facilitated deployment of technologies. The SafeTrip-21 Initiative highlighted how successful partnerships can leverage the respective capabilities of public, private, and academic partners in pursuit of a shared vision.
- Established and respectful working relationships facilitate a shared team vision and a sense of ownership, which serve as a solid foundation for a successful deployment.
- Documenting the vision through a concept of operations is one way to keep stakeholders on the same page.
- It is not sufficient to find consensus at the concept formation stage; sustaining regular communications among partners is needed.
- Conflicts in collaborative relationships can carry directly into the technology so it is important to engage in conflict resolution among partners.
- Formal agreements are necessary to establish working relationships and communication protocols.
- Interactions between commercial and non-commercial entities require unique understanding and planning to help the project run smoothly.
- Transportation professionals and system engineers need to develop a shared understanding and language in order to communicate effectively.
Indicate success factors related to effective development and meaningful deployment. Several factors related to the applications and the process of deploying the applications can optimize the chance for success. These factors are usually reflected by the types of trade-offs and decisions made by partners during the development and deployment process.
- Existing open-source data is becoming an important component of efficient system development.
- Keeping solutions simple enables progress and optimizes chances for success.
- Redundancy in system design and monitoring minimizes failure risks.
- It is challenging to develop ITS applications as an aftermarket addition to consumer products due to design variations in the absence of an industry standard.
- Performance monitoring during deployment facilitates technical improvements.
- Frequency of use is not always an indicator of value.
- When considering how to proceed following a test deployment, it is important to clarify the roles of the private and public sector.
Suggest future research opportunities. Several topics were identified in the evaluation that would benefit from future investigation and research.
- Arterial model development is a complicated issue that would benefit from continuing research and the development of new techniques.
- Transportation agencies will have to address the need for new procurement methods to acquire data and information services.
- To maximize the potential of using transit data, there is a need for a national standard.
- Continuing research is needed to identify contributing factors and the cost-benefit balance required to induce mode-shift.
- Further innovation is needed to provide timely and useful travel information at the fingertips of travelers while keeping drivers from being distracted.
- The potential impact of social networking related to travel and transportation is not well-understood.
The evaluation findings in the National Evaluation of the Safetrip-21 Initiative final report indicate that the SafeTrip-21 Initiative has advanced its goals of expanding research related to vehicle connectivity in the wireless communications environment; advancing ITS applications; and exploring benefits of deployment-ready applications that provide enhanced safety, real-time information, and navigation assistance. These findings along with the lessons learned provide a valuable resource to those considering the implementation of ITS applications for improved traffic development and deployment.