Consider that integration with existing ITS technologies and the vendor selection process can impact project implementation schedules and costs.

Washington's experience in deploying five Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) projects and developing a standardized approach for evaluating ATIS projects.

Washington,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Staff from all five ATIS projects mentioned a range of issues that arose during the project design, planning, and construction phases of their projects. These issues were generally not unique to advanced traveler information system projects, but they represented the types of management and agency coordination matters that could be encountered in any project involving technology implementation and/or government agency participation.
  • Consider that required integration with existing technologies can affect project schedule and cost. None of the five ATIS projects evaluated were installed in a vacuum. In each case, the traveler information capabilities implemented supplemented existing ATIS systems. The nature of those existing systems varied considerably, from established networks of devices in an urban setting to smaller collections of devices in rural areas. All five project designs required consideration of existing devices in terms of:
      1. The location, capabilities, and expansion options of pre-existing infrastructure, e.g., communications networks, power.
      2. The location, capabilities, and expansion options of existing ATIS devices.
      3. The interaction between new and existing devices in terms of complementary functions and technical requirements.
      4. The support requirements
In most cases, the net result of these considerations was an investment of time and money that sometimes resulted in schedule delays or extra expenses. The nature of the investment varied by project.

In one case, a consultant was used for installation of ATIS devices and associated networking, however the DOT's ITS maintenance staff noted that the consultant used camera equipment, cabling, and installation procedures that varied from the standard components and approach used by DOT; this, combined with outdated technical plans, made maintenance difficult. After communications difficulties arose, the DOT staff repaired or replaced components to improve performance and assure compatibility with Department ITS maintenance equipment and practices.
  • The vendor selection process can affect scheduling, implementation, and support. In several of the projects evaluated, vendor selection issues affected scheduling or implementation of the project as well as subsequent support. Additional time taken for vendor selection and equipment procurement, or subsequent modification of original vendor equipment to address performance issues resulted in schedule delays and/or additional expense.

In one case, the project schedule was delayed so that additional time could be taken to select software and equipment vendors whose products would integrate with existing equipment. In the end, these investments contributed to ease of support, data transfer and sharing capabilities, reduced long-term expenses, and enhanced greater future expandability. Project staff recommended that additional time be allotted for evaluation, deployment, and testing for future projects that involve software.

As shown, issues related to integration with existing ITS technologies and the process of vendor selection can affect project schedule, cost, and effectiveness. In both cases, preliminary research is advantageous in order to avoid potential ITS technology integration and vendor problems.

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ATIS Evaluation Framework

Author: Jaime M. Kopf, et al

Published By: Washington State Department of Transportation, sponsoring agency Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC), University of Washington, performing organization

Source Date: 5/1/2005

EDL Number: 14313

Other Reference Number: Report No. WA-RD 606.1; Agreement T1803, Task 27

URL: http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/606.1.pdf

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Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Jaime Kopf
Washington State Transportation Center
(206) 616-8265

Agency Contact(s):

Eldon Jacobson
Washington State Department of Transportation
(206) 685-3187

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Lesson ID: 2006-00248