MDOT Recognized for ITS Technology Leadership
Two high-tech projects championed by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have been recognized by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) with ITS America’s Best of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Awards. MDOT earned an award in the Best New Innovative Practice-Partnership Deployment category for its Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) project and was a finalist in another category, Best New Innovative Practice-Sustainability in Transportation, for its I-94 truck parking information and management system (TPIMS) project. In addition, the department won a “Best Technical Paper” award for a white paper it submitted on the TPIMS project. The recognition was bestowed upon MDOT at the ITS World Congress held in Detroit Sept. 7-11.
“I’m thrilled that MDOT employees, long national leaders in innovation, are being recognized for finding efficiencies through leveraging technology,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “I’m confident MDOT employees’ passion for doing things safer, smarter, faster and cheaper will lead to even more breakthroughs in intelligent transportation.”
AVL uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to enable MDOT to remotely track the location of its vehicle fleet through a web interface and allows MDOT to efficiently and effectively deploy snowplows and track winter maintenance activities. MDSS is an automated decision-support tool for road maintenance supervisors. It is a multi-layered, information system that provides forecasts, predictions, reports on observed weather and road conditions, serves as a training tool, and serves as a management support system that MDOT uses year-round.
MDOT’s TPIMS project was unveiled earlier this month to assess truck parking availability along the I-94 corridor in southwest Michigan and deliver real-time parking availability information to truck drivers. MDOT is using a number of high-tech methods to share parking availability information, including dynamic roadside truck parking signs, website and smartphone applications, and a fleet of pilot trucks equipped with on-board connected vehicle equipment.
The ITS America Best of ITS Awards annually recognize the best and brightest of the high-tech transportation community. It is a highly competitive program that recognizes organizations whose projects have demonstrated specific and measurable outcomes and have exemplified innovation. Last week, MDOT hosted the ITS World Congress, an international gathering of transportation innovators, researchers, business leaders, public officials, investors, and entrepreneurs.