How ITS Technology Has Improved Our Quality of Life
ITS improves transportation safety and mobility and enhances American productivity by integrating advanced communication technologies into vehicles and infrastructure. The USDOT has invested in ITS and the benefits it offers in saving lives, reducing congestion, and making our communities more liveable. By working with the public and private sectors and the academic community, we are fostering innovation, encouraging deployment, and witnessing the success of ITS technologies nationwide.
The following highlights some of the benefits of, as well as lessons learned from, ITS deployments across the country. Check back often for updates.
Coordinating human service transportation across funding sources can increase passengers per revenue hour by 10 percent.
Over 80 federal programs fund human service transportation for the "transportation disadvantaged," which includes the aging population, persons with disabilities, low-income individuals, and military veterans. These programs have different eligibility rules, and individuals can be eligible for multiple programs. The USDOT launched the Mobility Services for All Americans to encourage better coordination of human services transportation at the federal level.
To assess the potential benefits of coordinating human service transportation programs in rural areas, a study simulated two rural paratransit service providers in North and South Carolina. The agency in South Carolina saw 10 to 13 percent improvements in operating efficiency with full coordination of services; the agency in North Carolina saw 7 to 9 percent improvements in operating efficiency.
- Also see: MSAA Fact Sheet
A photo-radar enforcement van reduced the number of speeding vehicles by 23.7 percent at a highway work zone in northeast Portland.
To assess the impacts of photo-radar speed enforcement systems, a study used a 2-mile highway work zone on US 30 in northeast Portland, Oregon, that was subject to heavy traffic and frequented by large trucks. Traffic sensors were inconspicuously mounted on available utility poles in the study area to measure traffic volumes, vehicle speeds, lane occupancy, and vehicle classifications before, during, and after photo-radar speed enforcement vans and enforcement warning signs were deployed in the work area.
During photo-radar speed enforcement, speeding was reduced by an average of 23.7 percent within the work zone. However, the speeding reduction did not
persist after the photo radar enforcement van was removed.
Using a speed management system for winter maintenance resulted in zero (100-percent reduction) winter weather related accidents in one section of highway in Snowmass Canyon.
Researchers found that deployment of a speed management system for winter weather operations reduced crashes and improved safety.
As part of the USDOT's Best Practices for Road Weather Management Report Version 3.0, a case study examined the unique road topography of Colorado State Highway 82, which causes shading and precipitation build-up on certain portions of the road at various times of the day. This topography resulted in a large number of winter weather-related accidents during the several years prior to the installation of the speed management system. The first winter of operation resulted in zero (100-percent reduction) winter weather-related accidents in this section of highway in Snowmass Canyon.
Eco-approach and departure technology provides an additional 4- to 5-percent improvement on top of a coordinated corridor.
Preliminary modeling results from the USDOT's Applications for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) program reveal the eco-approach and departure at signalized intersections application can provide benefits in reduced fuel use. The application uses connected vehicle technology to provide speed advice to drivers to adapt the vehicle's speed to pass the next traffic signal on green or to decelerate to a stop in the most eco-friendly manner.
The AERIS program tested this application in a full corridor model of the El Camino Real in northern California. The 6-mile modeling region included 27 signalized intersections, fixed-timing and well-coordinated signals, and mostly three lanes in each direction. The results indicated that coordinated signal control by itself results in approximately 8 percent fuel/emissions reduction over uncoordinated. Eco-approach and departure technology provides an additional 4- to 5-percent improvement. In general, 5- to 10-percent fuel savings can be achieved with 100 percent penetration of the technology.
Image from JPO presentation http://www.its.dot.gov/research_archives/aeris/pdf/UCR_eco-approach_final2.pdf
Speeding has dropped 65 percent in Chicago neighborhoods where automated speed enforcement systems have been installed.
Chicago has a chronic problem of excessive speeding around neighborhood parks and schools. To combat this issue, the city installed automated speed enforcement systems in four neighborhoods parks.
In the first week of warning notices, each of the nine cameras captured a daily average of 507 vehicles speeding 10 mph or more over the speed limit. By the third week of issuing tickets, the daily average of speeding dropped to 175 - a reduction of more than 65 percent.
Traffic incident management works much better when regional communities work together.
The USDOT partnered with eight transportation agencies in large metropolitan areas to research effective means of implementing ICM approaches in their major travel corridors. The effort resulted in the development of the Integrated Corridor Management: Implementation Guide and Lessons Learned, which presents strategies to address congestion and travel time reliability issues within specific travel corridors.
Teamwork is crucial when communities work together to manage a busy highway corridor.
When establishing goals and objectives for developing a successful ICM project, the project team must be knowledgeable and committed and the managing agency must be able to successfully assemble the team.
Read more in the Integrated Corridor Management: Implementation Guide and Lessons Learned.