Focus Area
Transportation Systems Management & Operations
Submitting On Behalf Of
Critical - High Priority
$250,000 - 499,000
1 - 2 years
Type of Research
Full Research Project
Date Posted
Jul 15, 2022
Not Funded

Research Description

As transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) technology continues to evolve there is a need to formalize how systems and technologies are assessed, develop consistent processes for documenting system upgrades and changes, and to manage any potential risks associated with introducing new technologies into operating environment. There is a need to provide guaranteed and reliable TSMO services, especially given the complex nature of ITS systems feeding into the TSMO programs. The proposed research focuses on creating a concept of TSMO Laboratory where technologies, ITS application, networks, systems and operational strategies can be tested to determine whether they will achieve desired operational and performance objectives. Leveraging similar experiences and processes conducted by materials testing laboratories, the “lab” can provide a set of protocols and requirements whereby proposed technologies could be examined from various perspectives to determine readiness, identify risks, simulate operational performance, or document gaps. Part of this TSMO Lab concept would include a rigorous approach to documenting processes, identifying traceability back to operational objectives, and determining integration capabilities to existing systems and assuring potential longer-term operating needs and requirements are met. New processes developed from the TSMO laboratory concept will support efficient and stable procedures and help improve gaps with current operations. The data and information obtained through the newly defined processes will help create and enhance services, which aims to be consistent and reliable.

Processes developed would also allow more clear definition of roles and responsibilities, within an agency’s TSMO group as well as with other key partners and stakeholders, including other stakeholders groups involved. Examples include Standard Operating Guidelines for Traffic Management Centers and TSMO operations. One of the most significant benefits to potentially be gained will be insights on actual operational performance of new systems or new operating approaches. New and emerging technologies are not often ‘proven’ in real-world operating environments. While these new systems might pass functionality tests from vendors or developers, understanding how these systems might interact with existing agency operations, existing systems and existing operating processes is another level of readiness assessment. By having a better understanding of operational requirements, potential equipment interactions, data integration needs, and interoperability needs will help an operating to better plan for equipment upgrades and replacements. The lab will allow agencies to more readily and easily assess feasibility of a product or tool to meet the established requirements and will allow agencies to demonstrate how the new technologies fulfil the requirements while minimizing the risk of a full or pilot implementation in the field. It will also help agencies to focus investments on technologies and processes that directly support TSMO objectives. The lab can also provide opportunities to develop test plans for specific use cases.

The proposed research project will develop a concept of the TSMO lab. The research approach will include following steps –

1) Gather information from transportation agencies who have embarked on developing a TSMO Laboratory, there are some successful models at the national level, as well as through universities, that can provide some guidance on potential laboratory functions and structure. For example Florida DOT has established an ITS lab. MCDOT has developed initial concept of TSMO lab.

2) Develop a framework for lab concept including equipment provision, infrastructure readiness, manpower resource needs etc

3) Coordinate stakeholder input and feedback on the framework including vendor, consultant and public sector interfaces.

4) Develop a detailed concept of the lab including processes, protocols, procedures, roles etc.

The TSMO Lab concept will serve as valuable resource for the agencies planning to develop or advance TSMO labs or similar initiatives to improve the quality and reliability of the digital infrastructure and support in minimizing risk to agency investments.

Additional Supporting Information

Submitted by: David Lucas, Maricopa County DOT (MCDOT) and Faisal Saleem, National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE)

Submitted By
Faisal Saleem


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