Investigation into Alternate Event Management Techniques, 10-R8063

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Principal Investigators
Robert W. Heller
Marc Alban
John Brisco
Tucker Brown

Inclusive Dates:  04/17/09 – 08/17/09

Background - SwRI has submitted proposals to other state Departments of Transportation (DOT) based on the ability to license the SwRI-developed Texas DOT (TxDOT) and Florida DOT (FDOT) Advanced Traffic Management Software (ATMS).

An important ATMS function is to manage traffic events (e.g. crashes, construction closures, etc). Event management (EM) paradigms vary widely among states and traffic management centers (TMCs). The complexity of the FDOT EM software has placed SwRI at a disadvantage in those states with simpler paradigms. The purpose of this research was to investigate simpler approaches to EM and develop and integrate a prototype into the FDOT ATMS, thus improving SwRI's competitive position.

Approach - In simple terms, EM breaks down into the following steps:

  • Specify the location.
     
  • Describe the lane blockage.
     
  • Inform the traveling public.

Other steps are possible, and there are variations to how each step is performed. SwRI staff have experience from several different implementations (TransGuide, TxDOT LoneStar, and FDOT SunGuide™), in addition to having seen demonstrations of, or read documentation regarding, systems in operation. SwRI pursued an approach to make EM screens configurable based on a set of parameters to enable or disable major sections and specific inputs on the screen (disabled sections or inputs are not displayed).

Accomplishments - The project team reorganized the FDOT EM screen into four major sections: common details, advanced details, responders, and event history. The team introduced configuration file options to allow these to be selectively enabled or disabled. The team then introduced additional configurability into each section by adding options to enable (or disable) each input. The configurability of resulting prototype "EM-Lite" can result in many different configurations and screen appearances of EM Graphical User Interface (GUI). The range of these varies from a minimalist solution as requested by Kansas DOT, mid-level solutions as requested by Georgia DOT or a rich-featured solution currently in use by FDOT.

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