Ensure that Highway Patrol's CAD system operators enter key information needed by the transportation management center operators.

Experience from iFlorida Model Deployment

Florida,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The primary objectives of the various Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) interfaces to the Florida Highway Patrol Computer Aided Dispatch (FHP CAD) system were to provide the FDOT Regional Traffic Management Center (RTMC) operators with an improved source of FHP incident information, which they could use to support the Central Florida and Statewide 511 systems. The first version of this interface was not very successful, and many operators preferred to refer to the incident information available via the FHP Traffic Crash Reporting Web site rather than rely on the CRS to provide incident information. The second version of this interface (the FHP Data Viewer), however, was successful.

While deploying and operating these systems, FDOT did identify a number of lessons learned that other locales may find useful.
  • Work with the Highway Patrol to ensure that practices are in place to enter key information needed by the DOT in the correct fields within the CAD system. The data needs of FHP were different from those of FDOT, so some data fields that were key to FDOT but not key to FHP were not always entered consistently. One example was the road name, which was sometimes entered in the FHP CAD system as part of the free text description rather than in the road name field. FHP cooperated closely with FDOT by encouraging its dispatchers to follow more stringent data entry requirements with respect to these fields.
  • Provide mechanism to translate data from the FHP CAD system to values recognized by FDOT. An example was the incident type. Because FHP sometimes revised the list of acceptable values for incident types and their meanings, FHP instituted procedures to ensure that the tables used to translate FHP incident type values to FDOT values would be updated whenever such changes occurred.
  • Implement methods to identify and recover dropped messages in case of event-driven messaging. A system that uses event-driven messaging should include methods for identifying and recovering from dropped messages.
To gather statewide traffic-related incident information, iFlorida project developed an interface to the Florida Highway Patrol Computer Aided Dispatch (FHP CAD) system. Developing this interface supported the RTMC operators manage incidents more efficiently to restore and increase mobility in the transportation network.

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iFlorida Model Deployment Final Evaluation Report

Author: Robert Haas (SAC); Mark Carter (SAIC); Eric Perry (SAIC); Jeff Trombly (SAIC); Elisabeth Bedsole (SAIC): Rich Margiotta (Cambridge Systematics)

Published By: United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590

Source Date: 01/30/2009

EDL Number: 14480

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/3977

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Lessons From This Source

Assess security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and identify countermeasures to ensure operations of transportation management centers.

Be flexible to use data from various sources, such as the highway police patrol’s incident data, user feedback, and monitoring stations, to develop a statewide traveler information system.

Beware of challenges involved in developing an integrated statewide operations system for traffic monitoring, incident data capture, weather information, and traveler information—all seamlessly controlled by a central software system.

Beware of costs, utility, reliability, and maintenance issues in deploying a statewide transportation network monitoring system.

Beware of the limitations of using toll tags in order to calculate travel time on limited access roadways and arterials.

Beware that software development for ITS projects can be utterly complex, which demands avoiding pitfalls by following a rigorous systems engineering process.

Define a vision for software operations upfront and follow sound systems engineering practices for successfully deploying a complex software system.

Deploy a variable speed limit system only after the software systems required to support it are mature and reliable.

Design traffic video transmission systems around the constraints of bandwidth limitations and provide provisions for remote configuration of video compression hardware.

Develop an accurate, map-based fiber network inventory and engage ITS team in the construction approval process.

Develop an effective evacuation plan for special event that gathers a large audience and consider co-locating the responding agencies in a joint command center.

Ensure compatibility of data format of the field-weather monitoring sensors with the central software in the transportation management center.

Ensure that experienced staff oversee the development of a complex software system and thoroughly follow systems engineering process.

Ensure that Highway Patrol's CAD system operators enter key information needed by the transportation management center operators.

Establish a well defined process for monitoring and maintenance before expanding the base of field equipment.

Estimate life-cycle cost of ITS technologies as part of procurement estimates in order to assess the range of yearly maintenance costs.

In developing software for automated posting of messages on dynamic message signs, focus on the types of messages that are used often and changed frequently, and also include manual methods for posting.

Incorporate diagnostic tools to identify and verify problems in the transmission of video in a transit bus security system.

Perform adequate analyses and tests to design, calibrate and validate the capabilities of a bridge security monitoring system in order to reduce false alarms.

To support statewide traveler information services, design and implement reliable interface software processes to capture incident data from the local and highway patrol police’s computer aided dispatch systems.

Use simple menu choices for 511 traveler information and realize that the majority of callers are seeking en route information while already encountering congestion.

Lesson ID: 2009-00493