Intelligent Transportation Systems

A Distributed On-Line Database System for Transportation Managment Using Cooperating Roadside and In- Vehicle Communication Devices

Investigators: R. Jayakrishnan and Michael G. McNally

Support: National Science Foundation

This research tackles the problem of collecting, storing, and using an arbitrarily complete trip table for each vehicle in an urban traffic network, which can be trusted by transportation system operators while simultaneously ensuring traveler privacy. To achieve this goal, each vehicle stores its own travel history, under the consent of the driver, by accepting authenticated information from roadside controllers-persistent traffic cookies-using short-range wireless communication. The authenticated data stored in each vehicle forms a distributed database of historical travel patterns. The central hypothesis of the project is that these historical travel patterns can be used to predict the movement of vehicles currently in the system, which can, in turn, be used for traffic management applications.

The project consists of three overlapping research tasks. The first examines the design and performance of the distributed travel database and prediction system using simulation experiments. This task will develop and use a new modeling framework that integrates a microscopic traffic model and a multi-agent, activity-based travel demand model. The second task explores how such predictions can be applied to improve the design, management, and operation of the transportation system. For instance, local traffic controllers can move beyond turning fractions, and instead predict whether and where a platoon will disperse as it moves through the traffic network. Local intersection control schemes can incorporate the global consequences of their control measures. Path flow predictions made by the system can also serve as a direct input to existing dynamic traffic assignment formulations. The third task administers a small survey of traveler attitudes on privacy and utility issues involved in such a system. The results will help ascertain the feasibility of the system and balance the functional requirements with stakeholder and end-user interests in security and privacy.

The broader impacts of the research include the following. 1) In teaching, training and learning, the project lends itself to small, discrete projects ideal for completion as undergraduate or graduate class projects ranging from the study of wireless technology to full scale travel simulation. 2) To underrepresented groups, as an travelers could benefit from the optimal use of network capacity resulting from the use of the system. 3) In developing infrastructure for research and education, in that the simulation environment will become a novel resource available to any future student research. 4) From disseminating the results to enhance scientific and technological understanding, via publication of all findings in conference presentations and journal articles, and through a project web site. 5) To the society at large, where the impacts are many and varied. The system hinges upon traveler participation, which turns traffic control away from a command and control paradigm towards one of shared responsibility.

Anonymous Vehicle Tracking for Real-Time Freeway and Arterial Street Performance Measurement (PeMS)

Investigator: Stephen G. Ritchie

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

This research proposes an important extension of existing field-implemented and tested PATH research on individual vehicle reidentification, to develop methods for assessing freeway and arterial (and transit) system performance for the Caltrans PeMS (performance Measurement System; Varaiya, 2001). PeMS has been adopted by Caltrans as the standard tool for assessing freeway system performance, but lacks capabilities for assessing arterial and transit system performance, and strategies that combine freeways, arterials and/or transit and commercial vehicle fleets. The proposed research methodology can directly address each of these limitations in PeMS.

A systematic investigation will be conducted of anonymous vehicle tracking using existing inductive loop detectors on both freeway and arterial street facilities combined with new, low-cost high-speed scanning detector cards (that are currently being utilized in PATH T.O. 4122) to meet the needs of PeMS. Both field implementation and microscopic simulation will be utilized in a major travel corridor setting, using the Paramics simulation model and field sites that are part of the California ATMS (Advanced Transportation Management Systems) testbed network in Irvine, California (as shown in Figure 2). The experience and insights of the research team obtained from extensive previous and current PATH research on vehicle re identification techniques for single roadway segments and signalized intersections will be used to investigate and develop methods for tracking individual vehicles (including specified classes of vehicle such as buses and trucks) across multiple detector stations on a freeway and an arterial street network to obtain real-time performance measurements (including dynamic or time-varying origin-destination (OD) path flow information such as path travel time and volume ). The findings of this study should be invaluable to Caltrans and other operating agencies interested in real-time performance assessment of freeway and arterial street systems, and the implementation of such capabilities in PeMS. Products of the research will include guidelines, algorithms and procedures to permit implementation of real-time freeway and arterial street system performance measurement in PeMS.

California ATMS Testbed PHASE III: Operational Research Implementation

Investigator: Will Recker

Support: California Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation

The ATMS Testbed Program was initiated in early 1991 to provide an instrumented, multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency transportation operations environment linked to university laboratories for real-world development, testing and evaluation of ~near-term technologies and applications, and to serve as an ongoing testing ground for California and national ITS efforts. Located in Orange County, California, and under the direction of the University of California (UCI) Institute of Transportation Studies, the Testbed is intended to:

The Testbed is based on real-time, computer-assisted traffic management and communication. The transportation operations system that forms the backbone of the Testbed is structured to provide intelligent computer-assisted decision support to traffic management personnel by integrating network-wide traffic information (both surface street and freeway) in a real-time environment. The Testbed currently either has, or is developing, direct links to three transportation management centers (TMC), namely Caltrans District 12 TMC, City of Anaheim TMC, and .City of Irvine Transportation Research and Analysis Center (ITRAC), that provide real-time data links from area freeways and major arterials directly to dedicated Testbed research laboratories located at UCI.

The broad mission of the Testbed Program is to work toward overcoming institutional, technical and philosophical barriers to introducing innovative technologies into the management of complex transportation systems. Working together with California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) and the Testbed Partners, the Testbed Research Implementation and Prototype Development Program is designed to establish an intermediary link between basic research in Advanced Transportation Management Systems (A TMS) and Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) technologies (supported both by PATH and USDOT) and their full deployment.


Corridor Deployment and Investigation of Anonymous Vehicle Tracking for Real-Time Traffic Performance Measurement

Investigator: Stephen G. Ritchie

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

To fully exploit the benefits of the new generation of Intelligent Transportation Systems now widely under development, including applications for performance measurement, and homeland security, more accurate and appropriate real-time traffic data need to be collected from the urban highway transportation network and communicated to traffic management centers, traffic operations personnel, travelers, and other agencies. This research proposes to deploy and investigate at a corridor level anonymous vehicle tracking techniques that have been pioneered by the authors in previous PATH research. The objective of the research is to investigate and demonstrate real-time freeway and arterial performance measurement in a major real-world setting. This project represents a planned continuation of current PATH Task Order (TO) 4159 on Anonymous Vehicle Tracking for Real- Time Freeway and Arterial Street Performance Measurement. TO 4159 emphasizes microscopic simulation in conjunction with individual intersection and freeway segment field implementations to develop and assess methods for tracking vehicles across multiple detector stations in a traffic network, based on real-time acquisition of vehicle inductive signatures, in order to provide improved freeway and arterial (and transit) performance measures to the Caltrans PeMS (California Performance Measurement System; Varaiya, 2001). Ultimately, however, the utility and effectiveness of such new network-based methods can only be judged through large-scale field implementation, as proposed here.


Data Fusion Architecture Development for Freeway Performance Measurements via Network-wide Vehicle Tracking

Investigator: Seri Park

Support: U.S. Department of Transportation and California Department of Transportation/University of California Transportation Center

The need of accurate traffic data is essential for efficient and reliable traffic control and surveillance. This need has spawned a lot of research focusing on individual vehicle tracking. In this research, we propose the use of the latest detector technology to obtain accurate individual vehicle trajectory data and to overcome the conventional vehicle tracking problems- such as privacy issues, high investigation costs, and limited vehicle coverage area. This research focuses on the data fusion architecture development for freeway performance measures through network-wide vehicle tracking. The proposed proof-of-concept work will involve acquisition and analysis of field data from existing analog loop inductance detectors and surveillance video cameras installed in the Caltrans/UCI Irvine Detector Testbed.

The main contributions of this research are the determination and development of methods to find the optimal feature set from different types of sensors, the development of vehicle reidentification algorithm based on the fused optimal feature set, the derivation of vehicle reidentification reliability degree, and the development of multiple section vehicle tracking algorithm in order to obtain network-wide individual vehicle trajectory, especially in freeway.


Evaluation of Automated Work Zone Information Systems (AWIS)

Investigator: Will Recker

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

This proposal will evaluate up to six different Automated Work Zone Information Systems (A WIS) deployed by Caltrans in the state of California. Construction or work zones are dangerous places for Caltrans workers and places of severe congestion. The congestion from construction zones can cause rear-end and other vehicle collisions. To mitigate congestion and increase the safety of the Caltrans workers and motorists, Caltrans will deploy several A WIS that uses advanced computer technology and traffic sensors to collect and process traffic data to provide motorists real-time information in and upstream of the construction zone. The idea is to present the information to the motorist via changeable message signs before the start of the traffic queue to alert the motorist to the condition ahead.

PATH is proposing to evaluate up to six deployed A WIS. The evaluation will consist of evaluating the performance, reliability, cost and the traffic impact of the system. The objectives of this evaluation are: (1) To evaluate the performance of the A WIS system in the areas of system functionality, traffic data acquisition, motorist information messages, and system communications. (2) To evaluate the reliability of the A WIS system in conveying accurate information and the ability to collect accurate traffic speeds and estimated delay. (3) To evaluate the effectiveness of the A WIS system in reducing traffic delays and in reduction of accidents resulting from implementation of the system. (4) To evaluate the system cost.


Field Deployment and Operational Test of an Agent-Based, Multi-Jurisdictional Traffic Management System

Investigator: Michael G. McNally

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

This proposal addresses RFP Topic V.6 - Productivity, Traffic Management Strategies (with deployment on a specific corridor). In this project, TRICEPS/CARTESIUS will be field tested in two evaluation modes. In the first mode, the system will process real-time data coming from sensors in the field and will provide advisory management strategies and control actions for the consideration of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), District 12 Orange County (Caltrans-D12) and City of Irvine Traffic Management Center (ITRAC) personnel. The second evaluation mode will involve usability and stress testing of the TRICEPS/CARTESIUS system with the CARTESIUS agents remotely connected to the Paradyn traffic simulator at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) laboratories and Transportation Management Center (TMC) operators and personnel will be asked to respond to the scenarios using CARTESIUS to implement control strategies in Paradyn.


High Coverage Point-to-Point Transit HCPPT: A New Design Concept and Simulation-Evaluation of Operational Schemes for Future Technological deployment

Investigator: Cristian Eduardo Cortes

Support: U.S. Department of Transportation and California Department of Transportation/University of California Transportation Center

The research proposed here is to develop and evaluate a new concept for implementable high-coverage point-to-point transit systems, which rely on real-time communication and computing technologies, and advanced routing algorithms for efficient operation. The main goal is to develop conceptual designs different from older schemes, which were often failures. A new conceptual design based on coverage areas and transfer points (hubs), and feasibility simulation results for a flexible transit system like this have been developed so far. Passengers can travel from any point to any other point based on their own real-time personalized travel desires, which is now possible due to advances in communication and computing technologies. The system allows the feasible operation of a large number of transit vehicles (often minibuses and vans), eliminates more than one transfer for any passenger and introduces "passenger pooling" at pickups points with pooled passengers being able to travel to any destination. In addition, the system is ideally suited for much more efficient public investment than in conventional transit. The passenger demand for a system such as this is uncertain, but simulations show that under a variety of acceptable demand levels, the system can operate with high cost-effectiveness.


Implementation of a Tool for Measuring ITS Impacts on Freeway Safety Performance

Investigators: Thomas F. Golob and Will Recker

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

Assessing the benefits of ITS, ATMS or freeway infrastructure improvements translates into a problem of The objective of the proposed project is to implement a real-time tool for safety analysis. The proposed work will calibrate and verify a tool that translates traffic flow, as measured by ubiquitous single loop detectors, into safety performance in terms of expected numbers of crashes by type of crash per exposed vehicle mile of travel. A primary goal of this effort is to provide an easily accessible tool for use in assessing the safety performance of freeway operations and to evaluate and document improvements to safety arising from such ITS deployment as system-wide ramp metering (SWARM), freeway service patrol (FSP) and other incident response measures, and driver information. Once validated, code will be developed to deploy the model, first as a stand-alone website and then as a component of PeMS.

Institutional Approaches for Interjurisdictional System Management

Investigators: Michael G. McNally and Stephen P. Mattingly

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

The last decade of experience with implementing, or in some cases not implementing, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies has led to the identification of a broad range of institutional coordination problems. A critical review of these implementation projects and the identification of the associated institutional cooperation problems should provide a body of knowledge that, when interpreted in context of the projects and institutions at play, will lead toward the development of a "best practices" prescriptive policy guide. The goal of the proposed research is to develop such a policy guide, including sample institutional agreements, to identify potential institutional constraints prior to a project startup. In theory, institutional issues can be identified and addressed in a manner similar to technical issues. In practice, these institutional coordination problems often involve personnel problems that can be the key stumbling blocks in implementation. But such problems are difficult to identify because they rarely are documented. The approach herein is to sample typical projects in selected ITS implementation areas and, through a comprehensive review of the selected projects followed by one-on-one interviews with key participants, develop flowcharts and policy guidelines to identify key institutional constraints when the project itself is being defined, prior to any funding or implementation effort. The products of this research will be a "best practices" policy guide incorporating flowcharts for planning for institutional cooperation.

Integrated Ramp Metering Design And Evaluation Platform With PARAMICS Simulation

Investigators: Will Recker and Lianyu Chu

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

The microscopic simulation, such as Paramics, has shown its potential to provide a good alterative of the real world where ramp-metering studies can be tested. This project is intended to develop an integrated ramp-metering design and evaluation platform for ramp metering studies in Paramics. The platform will have intuitive graphical interfaces in order to facilitate Caltrans practitioners.


Integration of PARAMICS Software into ATMS Testbed Simulation and Analysis

Investigator: Will Recker

Support: CaliforniaATMS Testbed

PARAMICS is a suite of high-performance software tools for microscopic traffic analysis. The software simulates the movement of all vehicles within a network, producing a second-by-second image of the flow and density of traffic. The system can also simulate the traffic impacts of signals and ramp meters, loop detectors linked to variable speed signs, in-vehicle route guidance systems and other ITS strategies. This project integrates PARAMICS software into the framework of the California Advanced Testbed's TRICEPS evaluation system. Using current network data from the Testbed area, PARAMICS is being calibrated to match historical data on traffic patterns in the network to ensure adequate simulation of actual traffic conditions. Output from PARAMICS simulations on Testbed data is also compared and contrasted with output from previous INTRAS and DYNASMART simulations to assess relative model performance.


ITS Solutions to I-710 Corridor Challenges

Investigator: Amelia C. Regan

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

The I-710 Corridor in Southern California is facing crisis level congestion, much of it attributable to the truck traffic between the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the major interstate truck routes. The negative impacts of truck traffic on safety and public health have continued to increase as the traffic has increased. These negative impacts have a non-linear relationship with the increase in traffic. This project proposes to perform an extensive literature review and to provide a synthesis report. The report will examine projects aimed at improving the safety and flow of the I-710 corridor and will explore technologies that could be deployed to improve the corridor. It will further provide preliminary recommendations for deploying these technologies.


Non-Intrusive and Anonymous Vehicle Tracking in Signalized Networks for Transportation System Evaluation

Investigator: Cheol Oh

Support: U.S. Department of Transportation and California Department of Transportation/University of California Transportation Center

This project proposes the network-wide vehicle tracking framework by non-intrusive and anonymous tracking method, which derives invaluable real-time traffic information involving link/path travel time and time-variant Origin/Destination demand information. There exist various non-intrusive traffic detection technologies involving infrared, magnetic, radar, microwave, pulse ultrasonic, passive acoustic, and video etc. However, inductive loop detectors (ILDs) are still the most prevalent surveillance system in the United States and in many countries of the world. Consequently, if vehicle tracking would be attainable by ILD based surveillance systems, benefits from maximizing the efficiency of the existing infrastructure should be greater than any other detection technologies. The proposed vehicle tracking algorithm uses vehicle signatures produced by high-speed scanning detector cards, but it can be transferred to other detectors by substituting input feature vectors derived from other detector technologies. The results of this research support various levels of agencies, which range from day-to-day operators and managers of the transportation system to long-term designers and planners of the transportation infrastructure, in establishing appropriate transportation policies to address transportation problems.


On-Call API Support, Technical Guidance, and Applied Research Support for Traffic Microsimulation Models

Investigators: Michael G. McNally and Will Recker

Support: California Department of Transportation, Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH)

Under this agreement, the UCI Testbed Team will provide research assistance in three broad categories: 1) On-call direct support in the software development of application programming interfaces for specific applications of the Paramics simulation model, 2) Technical guidance in the use of microsimulation models both in research and practice, and 3) Research-related support in a variety of research projects using microsimulation.

Optimal Control Policies for Urban Corridor Management

Investigator: Will Recker

Support: U.S. Department of Transportation and California Department of Transportation/ University of California Transportation Center

This proposal will develop an integrated optimal control approach, with an embedded travel demand model that reflects drivers' response to the integrated optimal control system, that determines the on-ramp metering rates and the urban vehicle-actuated signal timing settings in corridor networks so as to achieve a pre-specified common goal. A primary goal of the work proposed herein is to demonstrate that congestion within corridor networks can be reduced in a more effective way if the control strategies for each component subnetwork are geographically integrated and coordinated to reflect interaction among systems, allowing the various traffic control measures to cooperate rather than compete. The integrated control problem relating to on-ramp and urban signal control strategies will be formulated as an optimal control problem of determining such control variables as the on-ramp metering rates, the minimum green duration, the maximum green duration (or force off), background cycle length (if coordinated) and the critical time gap for vehicle actuated urban signals, subject to the control constrains, so as to minimize the system total travel time. The approach will take into consideration the interaction between the control strategy and drivers' response to it. A numerical method will be proposed for the solution of the formulated optimal control problem.


Real-time Integrated Corridor Control

Investigator: Ioannis Pavlis

Support: U.S. Department of Transportation and California Department of Transportation/University of California Transportation Center

Traffic congestion created in corridor networks can be reduced by application of traffic responsive control systems. The majority of the currently used strategies optimize the coordination of a subnetwork of traffic signals, or the metering rates at a series of freeway on- ramps in a corridor network, without accounting for their interaction. However, as both the 5patial and temporal extend of recurrent or non-recurrent traffic congestion increases, the assumption that each subnetwork operates in virtual or real isolation clearly becomes invalid. As i result, situations often arise in which optimal solutions to a traffic congestion problem in one 5ubnetwork indirectly generate an even larger problem in an adjacent subnetwork, since the operation of most signalized networks and freeways is interdependent. It is purported herein that congestion within corridor networks can be reduced if the control strategies for each component subnetwork are integrated and coordinated (leading to an integrated control system) to reflect this interaction, allowing the various traffic control measures to cooperate rather than compete. Moreover, driver's route choice behavior in response to the proposed control strategy is considered to be one of the most critical determinants for the performance and effectiveness of he integrated control system. The routing of the demand is modeled on the basis of a discrete route choice model. This proposal aims to lay the foundation for an integrated control strategy, that determines some control measures so as to optimize a common (joint) objective, given the interaction between the control system and driver's response to it. The integrated control problem is formulated as an optimal control problem, and a procedure that results in a feedback optimal solution is proposed.


Upgrade of Integrated TMC Simulator

Investigators: Will Recker

Support: Cal Poly

A uniform operating system for all Caltrans districts is one of the main components of the TMS Master Plan currently being developed by Caltrans. Recent events with respect to Amber Alert have brought forward the importance of this facet of the Master Plan, and have resulted in a heightened awareness about standardization of the ATMS software for statewide applications. This heightened awareness increases the need for proper training of TMC and CHP CAD operators. To satisfy that need. a comprehensive training program is required. The core of this program resides with the capability of being able to train the operators off line in a training environment on a replica of the ATMS program running in TMCs. The Advanced Testbed Laboratories located on the campus of the UC Irvine, provide the necessary platform to achieve this goal.

Under a previous effort, a classroom to train Caltrans TMC personnel was constructed adjacent to the Testbed Laboratories at UCI. This classroom has access to the fun capabilities of the ATMS Testbed. In addition to its functionality within the Testbed ATMS development environment, the classroom can be made fully functional in a stand-alone mode to train TMC operator personnel in the use of existing, operational, transportation management system software (such as the Caltrans ATMS Version 2), while utilizing the full capability afforded by the Testbed ATMS microscopic traffic simulator (Paramics) and the Testbed's access to both historical and real-time field data from the Caltrans District 12 system, and the Cities of Anaheim and Irvine. Using this facility, TMC operator personnel win be able to interact both with actual, real-time or "playback" field data as well as with specific operational scenarios developed from loop-simulated data generated by the Paramics real-time microscopic traffic model.

The scope of work to upgrade the Testbed Laboratories for such capabilities includes the following:

  • Procuring the necessary server

  • Procuring the required software

  • Porting basic version of A TMS software to Testbed Laboratories

  • Integrating the ATMS software with the existing ATMS Simulator network residing in the Testbed Laboratories.