A publication, entitled I-95 Corridor Coalition - Vehicle Probe Project General Benefits White Paper, August 2010, offers valuable data and guidance on the use of probe data in traffic management. The objective of the I-95 Corridor Coalition’s Vehicle Probe Project (VPP) is to create a seamless traffic monitoring system that spans the eastern seaboard delivering travel times and speeds on freeways and arterials using probe technology. Data from various sources are fused to present a comprehensive picture of traffic flow. Member agencies have found numerous uses for the data beyond simply travel information, which was the original use at the project inception.
Currently, there are 19 agencies which have access to vehicle probe data. Several agencies are using the VPP data to support their 511 web and phone services providing traveler information. Some agencies use the vehicle probe data to calculate travel times and post them on message signs. Performance measures and travel time reliability, particularly in congestion prone areas, are being calculated using real-time and archived VPP data. I-95 Corridor Coalition member agencies use the project monitoring site to observe traffic patterns within its boundaries, but especially across state lines to anticipate incidents and congestion. VPP data are also used as input for the Coalition’s long-distance trip planner website (www.i95travelinfo.net) and variable message signs to enhance traveler information.
The VPP has been providing data to member agencies since 2008. As noted in the findings below, the agencies have recognized the benefits of VPP data to their respective departments of transportation, traffic management centers, and the public they serve.
New Jersey Department of Transportation enhanced incident management efficiency by using I-95 Corridor Coalition’s Vehicle Probe Project data, experiencing an estimated savings of $100,000 per incident in user delay costs. During a surprise snowstorm in October 2008, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Traffic Operations Center was reviewing an accident on I-80 via a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera. The VPP monitoring site identified a second incident where CCTV coverage was not available that involved multiple jack-knifed tractor-trailers along I-80. The knowledge gained from the VPP about the second incident enabled responders to reach the second incident an hour sooner than would have been possible without the VPP. An NJDOT executive stated at the 2008 ITS World Congress and ITS America Annual Joint Meeting that the expedited response to the second incident translated into an estimated $100,000 savings in user delay costs.
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