California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) Update - February 25, 2022


UPDATE: Friday, February 25, 2022

Top banner of COATS Fact Sheet

COATS Phase 8 is building on the success of earlier COATS phases with a focus on technology transfer. Tasks to be completed include two Western States Forums, Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP) meetings, website development and maintenance, and the Forum Handbook. Here's a brief summary of work completed during the last half of 2021.

Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum

The Western States Forum has been the focus of activities for the last several months. The 16th annual event was held October 5 – 7, 2021, in Yreka, California. Even thought it was a different time of year, it was the same high quality technical program and excellent networking opportunities that participants have come to expect from the Forum. There were seven different technical presentations from 12 speakers. You can review the presentations on the Forum website’s 2021 Forum page. More pictures will be coming soon, but here is a view during Jeremiah Pearce’s lead off presentation:

Forum audience from behind looking towards the presenter at the front

Photo by Doug Galarus

After a successful Forum in October, the project team immediately began planning for the 2022 event. Save the Date (pdf)! June 14 – 16 in Yreka, California, for the 17th Annual Western States Forum! Here’s what’s planned for the technical program:

  • Commodity Traffic Cameras as Cost-Effective Alternative to Traditional Sensing Hardware
    Dan Rossiter
    Southwest Research Institute
  • Evaluation of Road Weather Messages on DMS using Roadside Pavement Sensors
    Skylar Knickerbocker
    Iowa State University
  • The Nevada TSMO Program – A Modern Approach to Solving Old Problems
    LaShonn Ford
    Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Next Generation Work Zone Data Integration and Dissemination – Work Zone Data Exchange (WZDx) Development from Planning to Operations
    Justin Belk, Joshua Hudson
    Washington State Department of Transportation
  • OptaSense – A New Way to Make it Count
    Eric MacGill
    Nevada Department of Transportation
  • Organizing Chaos: A Tale of Chain Controls and Traffic Queuing
    Keith Koeppen
    Caltrans District 2
  • UDOT's Region Four Intersection Conflict Warning System Phase 2
    Troy Torgersen, Graig Ogden
    Utah Department of Transportation
  • UDOT’s Region Four Variable Speed Limit (VSL) I-15 Corridor in Rural Utah
    Troy Torgersen, Graig Ogden, Cody Opperman
    Utah Department of Transportation

Registration for the Forum will open in early March so keep an eye on your inbox and your mailbox. Event details will also be posted on the Forum website.


On October 5th, the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium held their annual meeting in conjunction with the Western States Forum. The group discussed the status of the WSRTC Pooled Fund and its two active task orders - WSRTC Meeting Coordination, Western States Forum Travel Support and Website Maintenance (WTI Task Order 14), and ASWSC / OSS / WeatherShare Maintenance (Montana Tech Task Order 1). This pooled fund will be ending with the conclusion of these two task orders. To continue the good work of the WSRTC partnership, a new Pooled Fund for Phase 2 of the Consortium has just been opened (TPF-5(494)). Here is the annual meeting agenda (10/05/2021) and you can check back for a more detailed report from the annual meeting.

Group of people around tables; clockwise from left, Jim Whalen, Sean Campbell, Tyler Laing, Jeremiah Pearce, Karthik Murthy, Tony Leingang, Leann Koon

Photo by Doug Galarus

The ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibition along with the National Rural ITS Conference were a joint virtual event again this past year. The WSRTC provided support for 98 participants from the WSRTC member states and research institutions. With support from the WSRTC, one participant also attended the ITS America meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Check back here for more updates on the COATS project.