WSRTTIF Update - August 16th, 2012


UPDATE: Thursday, August 16th, 2012

The 7th annual Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum was attended by a diverse group of rural ITS engineers from six states (California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas). The group discussed six different presentations and demonstrations about a variety of rural ITS projects deployed in the western states area.

Ian Turnbull and Jeremiah Pearce from Caltrans, District 2 set the tone for the Forum with an in-depth, technical review of the architecture and configuration of the full service Rural TMC in Redding and its associated Internet Protocol Field Element Network (FEN).

Here's Ian:

Ian Turnbull explains the technical architecture for the Rural TMC in Caltrans District 2

Photo by Doug Galarus

And Jeremiah:

Jeremiah Pearce discusses the core configuration of the FEN associated with the Rural TMC in Redding, California.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Lynne Randolph and her team from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, investigated potential issues with Bluetooth technology used for the purpose of traveler information, including the capabilities of various Bluetooth devices, adapters, and range extending antennas. Members of the WSF Steering Committee heard Lynne speak at the 2011 National Rural ITS Conference and encouraged her to participate in this year’s Forum. She brought an interesting perspective and great questions to the Forum and it was good to have Texas represented.

Here’s Lynne as she introduces herself and her presentation:

Lynne Randolph introduces her presentation entitled Travel Times Using Bluetooth.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Doug Galarus and Dan Richter from the Western Transportation Institute demonstrated the One-Stop-Shop (OSS) web application that was developed in partnership with Caltrans and the WSRTC. OSS co-principal investigator David Veneziano was also in attendance at the Forum. OSS provides travelers with comprehensive real-time data including routing functionality, camera images, weather information, elevation profiles, rest areas, and points of interest. With over 25 separate layers, OSS brings in data from four states and ten different organizations.

Here Doug shows the live OSS website:

Doug Galarus presents the OSS website.

Photo by Leann Koon

Here’s Dan explaining the technical aspects of the data retrieval process:

Dan Richter explains the technical aspects of the data retrieval process.

Photo by Leann Koon

For the second year in a row, Jon Dickinson and Mark Aragon from the Nevada DOT teamed up for a demonstration. Along with Jim Whalen, they discussed and demonstrated their Mobile ITS Hotspot Trailer. The NDOT trailers are an excellent example of the impact of the Forum on DOT operations. After seeing WTI/MSU’s Portable ITS Trailer and Communications demonstration at the 2008 Western States Forum, the Nevada DOT recognized the portable ITS hotspot trailer as a valuable asset for construction zones, special events, and emergency situations, and subsequently developed a similar trailer that fit their needs. With an NDOT trailer onsite, Forum participants got a close-up look at the components and configuration along with watching the trailer in action.

Out in the parking lot for the live demonstration, Jon answers questions about the trailer from Bob Koeberlein of the Idaho Transportation Department and Lynne Randolph, Southwest Research Institute.

Jon Dickinson answers questions about the trailer during the live demonstration.

Photo by Leann Koon

Here’s Mark:

Mark Aragon discusses the solar calculations for the trailer with the Forum participants.

Photo by Doug Galarus

And Jim:

Jim Whalen shows NDOT’s live cameras as he prepares to demonstrate the ITS trailer deployed in the parking lot.

Photo by Doug Galarus

Oregon State University also presented again this year. Dr. Porter and Dr. Kim expanded on their research with Bluetooth technologies and explained their study that is using signal strength along with a Bluetooth MAC address read to determine the point location of the Bluetooth device. The technology could potentially be applied to data collection for intersection performance, work zones, and acceleration/deceleration. University participation in the Forum is an example of the WSRTC’s mission to further research, education, and technology in the field of rural ITS and we are glad to have OSU’s continued involvement.

Here’s David Porter:

David Porter reviews the outline for his presentation.

Photo by Doug Galarus

And here’s David Kim as he explains some of the results of their study:

David Kim explains the results of their research project.

Photo by Leann Koon

A number of representatives of the California Highway Patrol participated in this year’s Forum and they added a valuable perspective to the challenges and solutions of rural transportation. Hanna (John) Batarseh and Brian Guthrie demonstrated CHP’s Rapid Response Incident Command Vehicles (RRV) – the result of extensive research into the disaster preparedness needs of the CHP. With an RRV onsite, Forum participants saw the vehicle fully deployed and operational as Batarseh and Guthrie showed and demonstrated its features and technical capabilities.

Here's John:

John Batarseh points to the satellite dish mounted on the roof of the RRV as he demonstrates the RRV’s capabilities.

Photo by Leann Koon

And here's Brian:

Brian Guthrie describes the features of CHP’s RRV.

Photo by Leann Koon

Opportunities to network are incorporated into the agenda during meals and with extended time for breaks. The Tuesday evening social is always a great chance for Forum participants to meet each other and find out what projects are being developed and deployed in the western states region.

The Wednesday evening social is always a great chance for Forum participants to meet each other.

Photo by Leann Koon

Thanks again to all involved with the 2012 Forum. We look forward to seeing you at Western States Forum 2013!

Take a look at our website to read more about the Forum activities. Presentations from the 2012 Forum and previous Forums are posted here too.