Benefit

In San Antonio, Texas, 60 percent of drivers of transit vehicles equipped with in-vehicle navigation devices reported that they saved time and felt safer.


May 2000
San Antonio,Texas,United States


Summary Information

This report summarized the results of several ITS evaluation projects in the city of San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio had a relatively extensive implementation of ITS prior to this study and, consequently, the incremental benefits experienced in San Antonio through expansion and additions to the existing system may be somewhat smaller than the benefits that could be achieved in areas with little prior implementation of ITS.

Improvements to elements of San Antonio’s traveler information system included the installation of In-Vehicle Navigation (IVN) devices in vehicles operated by public agencies in the San Antonio area. The IVN devices provided navigational assistance, incorporating information on congestion, incidents and railroad crossing status when planning trips.

Focus groups composed of drivers of vehicles equipped with the units indicated that the drivers most satisfied with the system were those that frequently drove different routes each day. Drivers often asked to drive to unfamiliar parts of the metropolitan area, such as paratransit drivers and police investigators, seemed to get the greatest benefit from the system. Overall, public safety representatives indicated that with improvements to the method for entering destinations, the devices could be helpful in reducing response times of emergency vehicles. Public safety representatives did indicate that, with improvements to the method for entering destinations, the devices could be helpful in reducing response times of emergency vehicles. As implemented in San Antonio, however, users complained of the difficulty in inputting destinations easily. Sixty (60) percent of users did report that it was easier to find unfamiliar addresses with the devices, that they saved time and felt safer to use than paper maps. Paratransit operators found the devices very useful and some operators now refuse to take out buses that are not equipped with the system.

The San Antonio project also included a demonstration implementation of a telemedicine system, known as LifeLink, allowing video and teleconferencing between emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and doctors at nearby hospitals. The system allowed doctor’s to see video images of the incoming patients and provide advice to the EMT in the ambulance on providing care en-route to the hospital. Though the system had no impacts on the measures of delay or energy consumption, significant safety impacts are likely if the system is applied in rural areas. As applied in an urban area, the short transit time to the hospital limited the additional benefit of LifeLink. EMTs were very satisfied with the system, though doctors had concerns with the system, especially since it required them to leave other tasks at the emergency room.

The final component of the San Antonio deployment initiative was a system using volunteer private vehicles equipped with radio transponders as probes to determine travel times along area roadway segments. Over 40,000 people volunteered to use the tags on their vehicles, indicating strong support for the project.

The evaluation reports contains several conclusions and recommendations drawn from the results above, and discussions with various stakeholders within the projects:
  • Integration with existing system components can also significantly reduce implementation costs. The LifeLink project would have been considerably more expensive without the use of the existing roadside fiber-optic lines installed for the freeway management system.
  • Emergency telemedicine can save lives and reduce treatment and transportation costs. A number of institutional and technical issues must be addressed in order to maximize these benefits.
  • Vehicle probes offer a potential means of offering travelers the additional arterial information they desire. This will only be possible if a significant market penetration of probe vehicles can be attained.
  • Travelers prefer roadway condition information provided through camera images whenever possible; internet pages with these types of information are among the most visited at traveler information sites that provide them.

Benefit Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Benefit

To comment on this summary, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.



Source

Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative: San Antonio Evaluation Report - Final Draft

Author: Carter, M., et al.

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by SAIC for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: May 2000

EDL Number: 12883

Other Reference Number: Report No. FHWA-OP-00-017

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/2893

Rating

Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Benefit

(click stars to rate)


Benefits From This Source

Evaluation indicated that integrating DMS and incident management systems could reduce crashes by 2.8 percent, and that integrating DMS and arterial traffic control systems could decrease crashes by 2 percent, in San Antonio, Texas.

Evaluation of freeway DMS integrated with incident management in San Antonio, Texas, found fuel consumption reduced by 1.2 percent; integrating the DMS with arterial traffic control systems could save 1.4 percent.

In San Antonio, Texas, 60 percent of drivers of transit vehicles equipped with in-vehicle navigation devices reported that they saved time and felt safer.

In San Antonio, Texas, focus group participants felt that DMS were a reliable source of traffic information.

In San Antonio, Texas, usage of a traveler information Web site increased at a rate of 19 percent per year and spiked during severe weather events.

Modeling performed as part of an evaluation of nine ITS implementation projects in San Antonio, Texas indicated that drivers of vehicles with in-vehicle navigation devices could experience an 8.1 percent reduction in delay.

Modeling performed as part of an evaluation of nine ITS implementation projects in San Antonio, Texas indicated that integrating DMS, incident management, and arterial traffic control systems could reduce delay by 5.9 percent.

Modeling performed as part of an evaluation of nine ITS implementation projects in San Antonio, Texas indicated that users of an improved traveler information web site would receive annual benefits of a 5.4 percent reduction in delay.

Costs From This Source

An advanced highway-rail intersection warning system was deployed for just over $350,000 as part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Model Deployment Initiative.

In-vehicle navigation units and real-time traveler information software development were the main cost drivers for the San Antonio TransGuide MMDI project to improve operations at several public agencies.

Over half of the $3.25 million cost for the San Antonio Lifelink advanced telemedicine project was attributed to reseach and development.

The integrated freeway/incident management system covering 28.9 miles in San Antonio was deployed for approximately $26.6 million.

Benefit ID: 2007-00374