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EXPERIMENTING WITH REAL-TIME ATIS

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ABSTRACTINTRODUCTIONPROJECT BACKGROUNDTest Bed AreaExperiment DesignADVANCEParticipant SelectionSystem SelectionSAMPLE RESULTSFUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONSACKNOWLEDGEMENTREFERENCESCOMPETING WITH THE GHOST OF ADVANCE:EXPERIMENTING WITH REAL-TIME ATISAlixandra Demers1, George F. List1, Jeffrey Wojtowicz3, Al Wallace2, Earl E. Lee2, and PaulSalasznyk21Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7908, Raleigh, NC 27695-7908; PH Demers (919) 515-4455, List (919) 515-2331; emails: Demers: [email protected], List: [email protected] Sciences & Engineering Systems, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth St., Troy, NY 12180; PH Wallace (518) 276-xxxx, Lee (518) 276-2759; emails: Wallace: [email protected], Lee: [email protected] of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 Eighth St., Troy, NY 12180; PH (518) 276-8306; email: [email protected] the early 1990’s, the in-vehicle navigation and route guidance project called ADVANCE was underway in the northeastern suburbs of Chicago. The final field experiment included 70 households and 110 drivers for approximately 2 weeks, it proved that travel time data could be updated on in-vehicle devices (albeit not in real-time) to assist drivers in choosing faster routes to their destinations.Since the time of ADVANCE, there has been significant simulation-based research about providing probe vehicles real-time information to improve route guidance. However, field experimentation has been lacking, in part because available technology is only now catching up with our ideas. Recently, a 3-month field experiment was conducted in upstate New York with just under 200 participants that used in-vehicle route guidance technology in conjunctionwith GPS locators and real-time, link travel time updates. Two-way communication between the vehicles and a central server was key and provided through a wireless communications network. Link travel times were recorded by the probes, updated on a central server, and queried by the individual probes every minute of their trips. Hence, each probe driver relied on all the other probes in the network to provide travel time information. In all, the experiment resulted in a total of 4,111,210 latitude-longitude and position-speed-date-time points. The largest number of location points per user was 98,018 while the smallest was 117 points. The average per user was just over 26,000 location points, or 325.5 points per trip. In terms of probe trips, there were 12,629 trips for a traveled distance of 147,316 miles over a duration of 3,945.8 hours.This paper includes a detailed discussion of the Capital District ATIS project while showing some parallels and differences with the last field project, ADVANCE. Areas covered by the authors include: project background, description of the test bed area, participant statistics, experiment design, sample results, and future research directions.1INTRODUCTIONIn the early 1990’s, the in-vehicle navigation and route guidance project called ADVANCE (Advanced Driver and Vehicle Advisory Navigation ConcEpt) was underway in the northeastern suburbs of Chicago. Planned as a huge field project with hopes for 3,000 to 5,000 volunteer drivers testing equipment over 4 years, ADVANCE included a host of public and private agencies working as a team, and led by the Illinois Institute of Technology, to carefully develop the experiment. Although the final field experiment included only 70 households and 110 drivers for approximately 2 weeks, it proved that travel time data could be updated on in-vehicle devices (albeit not in real-time) to assist drivers in choosing faster routes to their destinations (De Leuw 1997).On a weekly basis, the updated travel time data was downloaded to the vehicle computers. As a result, path choice was enhanced because realtravel times, derived from vehicle observations were being used instead of defaults or simulation-based estimates. Since then, no project has tried again to both use vehicles as probes and feed them back traffic information.In Spring 2005, the Capital District Advanced Traveler Information System (CD-ATIS) project was conducted in upstate New York, led by the authors, with 200 volunteer participants driving their own vehicles, specially equipped with route guidance equipment, for 3 months. The project was planned as a test of probe vehicles as data collectors and as information receivers. The in-vehicle devices shared real-time travel time data (updated everyminute via a server) to improve each probe’s trip through route recalculation and reselection based on the quickest travel time from the current location to their programmed destination. The authors describe here an overview of the project and how it compares to the ADVANCE project of a decade ago to give readers a sense of context. The experiment is described in terms of the study area, design, and participant selection. Next, results that can be extracted are mentioned followed by some sample results at the macro level. Finally, the paper is closedwith mention of the researchers future directions of inquiry noted.PROJECT BACKGROUNDSimilar to the ADVANCE project’s “pioneering effort” (Argonne National Laboratory 1997), the CD-ATIS project was a joint public-private venture. Fourteen agencies in all joined together led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation, to make this experiment happen. The project budget was $1.4 million, significantly less than ADVANCE’s estimated $35 to 42 million budget (Boyce 2002).The primary goals of the projects were also quite similar with a focus on testing real-time probe data collection while offering route guidance to said probes. One distinction is the expectation for how often updated real-time information is relayed back to the probes (one or more weeks for ADVANCE compared to one minute for this project, although more frequent messaging was initially planned for the former). Another distinction is the scope of the projects in both size and purpose. ADVANCE was planned for 3,000 to 5,000 participant drivers while the CD-ATIS project aimed for a modest 200 participants. Although the main goal was to conduct an operational test, ADVANCE had a broader purpose to fuse data from multiple sources for dynamic route guidance whereas the


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