Lesson

Expect that new technology will require modifications before it is useable.

A Washington State experience with testing of electronic container door seals (E-seal) through a freight supply chain.


12/1/2002
Washington,District of Columbia,United States


Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

A field operational test (FOT) attempted to apply a new technology, E-seal, to existing freight movements. While the seal worked in tests, when applied to containers in a real world environment on roads, at ports, and at borders, it required re-engineering. This application of a disposable E-seal transponder demonstrated that new or prototype technology may require additional development before it is a viable system.

The project suggested the following lesson:
  • Expect that new ITS technology may need considerable re-engineering before it is usable in a real world environment. For example, as the project began, the original E-seal design faced challenges because the broadcast speed was too slow to read moving trucks. The system was successfully re-engineered to broadcast at a sufficiently increased rate to support roadway speed conditions. The hand-held seal readers also proved difficult to operate because users had to navigate through a cumbersome series of menus and because of a short battery life.
Over the course of the test, a number of technological problems with the E-seal were resolved. After the seal was re-engineered several times, the test demonstrated that the concept of the E-seal was valid. The seal read rate during the test improved from poor in the early months of the test to approaching a 100 percent read rate toward the end. The lesson here is that existing ITS technology may need considerable modification before it is usable.


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Source

WSDOT Intermodal Data Linkages Freight ITS Operational Test Evaluation Final Report Part 1: Electronic Container Seals Evaluation

Author: M. Jensen, M. Williamson, R. Sanchez, A. Newton, C. Mitchell

Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation

Source Date: 12/1/2002

EDL Number: 13770

Other Reference Number: FHWA-OP-02-XXX

URL: http://ntl.bts.gov/lib//jpodocs/repts_te//13770.html

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center
206 543-3348
edm@u.washington.edu


Agency Contact(s):

Edward McCormack
Washington State Transportation Center
206 543-3348
edm@u.washington.edu

Lesson Analyst:

Firoz Kabir
Noblis
202-863-2987
firoz.kabir@noblis.org


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Lesson ID: 2005-00082