California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) Update - May 6th, 2020


UPDATE: Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

COATS Fact Sheet

The COATS project, since its inception in 1998, has sought to improve safety and mobility in rural California using intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies. Earlier phases of this project have been successful in promoting ITS awareness, conducting ITS planning and architecture development, demonstrating ITS technologies and testing new applications, performing evaluations of existing deployments, and publicizing the results, primarily through technology transfer activities such as the Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum (WSRTTIF, or Western States Forum). COATS Phase 8 will build on the success of earlier COATS phases to preserve and expand the COATS region as an innovator in rural ITS demonstration.

Right after the conclusion of COATS Phase VII, the project research team started work on an 8th phase of the California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems project, or COATS. The Kick Off meeting was held via teleconference on March 5, 2020. Tasks to be completed in this phase of COATS include the 15th and 16th Western States Forums, Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP) meetings, website development and maintenance, and the Forum Handbook.

PTAP meetings have been a part of most of the COATS project phases. During COATS Phase 8, the group will meet annually at the Western States Forum as well as during the ITE Annual Meeting (NRITS), ITS World Congress, and the Northwest Transportation Conference. The members of this project panel are:

  • Sean Campbell, Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information
  • Jeremiah Pearce, Caltrans District 2
  • Leann Koon, Western Transportation Institute

External partners on the PTAP include designees from each of the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium’s member states. These individuals are:

  • Ron Vessey, Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Doug Spencer, Oregon Department of Transportation
  • Seth Daniels, Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Tyler Laing, Utah Department of Transportation

Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum (WSRTTIF)

2019 Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum

Photo by Doug Galarus

COATS Phase 8 will provide support for organizing and conducting successful 15th and 16th Western States Forums. The Forum is an engineering practitioners’ meeting focused on providing technology transfer and networking opportunities for professionals working in design, implementation, and maintenance of ITS technologies in rural environments. Take a look at the Forum’s website to see the technical content presented at the event through the years.

One of the other tasks under COATS Phase 8 will be updating the Western States Forum Handbook. Originally developed in COATS Phase 7, the Handbook details Forum planning, development, organization, and operations. It is intended to provide thorough guidance to any individual or group tasked with organizing and facilitating the Western States Forum. Because the Forum changes year to year, this document is dynamic. Under this task, the Handbook will be updated annually to keep the guidelines current and applicable (e.g., after the 2020 and 2021 Forums).

Check back next quarter for more COATS project updates.