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Intelligent Transportation Systems

What is ITS?

ITS is the application of advanced technology to address transportation problems. ITS makes use of advanced communication and computer technology to address these problems and enhance the movement of people and goods. ITS infrastructure can be categorized based upon the implemented application of the technology.

Freeway Management

Traffic Incident Management is a planned and coordinated process followed by state and local agencies to detect, respond to, and remove traffic incidents as quickly and safely as possible to keep Oregon's highways flowing as efficiently as possible. The main steps in this process include: 
  • Planning
  • Detection
  • Verification
  • Response
    • Incident Response
    • Traveler Information
    • Incident Removal Strategies
  • Evaluation
ODOT assists emergency responders with traffic control at incident scenes and assists with cleanup to return the highway to normal operations as quickly as possible.
CCTV cameras are non-recording and are used by ODOT's maintenance crews and Transportation Operations Center to quickly and efficiently detect, verify, and plan responses for highway incidents and to monitor weather and road conditions at remote locations. The images are also provided to the public through TripCheck to help drivers make more informed travel decisions.
Ramp meters help control the flow of vehicles entering a freeway. By regulating the flow of vehicles entering the freeway, ramp meters smooth the merging process resulting in increased freeway speeds and reduced crashes. Metering rates are automatically adjusted based on traffic conditions. Currently, they are found only in the Portland area.

Road & Weather Management

RWIS (Road Weather Information Systems) are weather stations that can be used to monitor a variety of conditions. Sensors can provide data such as air and pavement temperatures, wind speed and direction, visibility, humidity, and precipitation. RWIS data is used for making winter road maintenance decisions and it is shared with the public through the TripCheck website.
Flood Warning Systems automate monitoring water levels as well as notifying maintenance crews and the public of potentially hazardous conditions.
Wind Warning Systems alert drivers to hazardous wind conditions at bridge crossings and along coastal highways. These systems monitor the wind, activate warning signs, and provide wind warning advisories to the TripCheck website.
Snow Zone signs notify motorists of chain and traction tire requirements ahead. There are manual and remotely operated signs. The remotely operated signs can be changed from an operations center based on reports from field crews and save time by eliminating the need for maintenance personnel to travel to each end of a corridor to manually change signs.

Crash Prevention & Safety

Speed Warning Systems use radar to determine an approaching vehicle's speed, especially in the area near sharp highway curves. If the speed exceeds a safe speed then a warning message is displayed on a VMS sign.
Over-Length Warning Systems use detectors to determine whether approaching vehicles (typically commercial trucks) are too long to safely maneuver the challenging roadway geometry ahead. If a vehicle is too long, the sign's beacons flash to warn the driver.

Traveler Information

TripCheck website (http://www.tripcheck.com) displays real-time data regarding road conditions, weather conditions, CCTV camera images, delays due to congestion and construction, advisories, etc. In addition, TripCheck provides travelers with information about travel services such as food, lodging, attractions, public transportation options, scenic byways, weather forecasts, and more.
TripCheck Mobile allows drivers to get real-time travel information formatted for cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). TripCheck Mobile can be accessed at the following site: http://www.tripcheck.com/mobile.
VMS (Variable Message Signs) are used to provide information to motorists en-route regarding delays, work zones, travel time estimates, alternative routes, amber alerts, etc.
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) Sign and Beacons disseminate information via AM radio frequencies to motorists en-route on Oregon's highways.
511 allows drivers to hear travel information by phone. The information provided via 511 is the same as the data displayed on ODOT's website, TripCheck.com.
TripCheckTV is a customizable part of the TripCheck website that makes TripCheck information available at a glance.  It's great for public locations where travelers are waiting and can use quick travel information such as hotel or office lobbies, bus stops, etc.  Visit the application at www.TripCheck.com/tv.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation Options provide good alternatives to driving a personal vehicle. Enhanced with the use of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies, public transit providers have been able to improve customer service and become more efficient, ultimately resulting in even greater mobility and access. ODOT now provides a one-stop-shop for public transportation options on its TripCheck website. Information such as bus and train routes and schedules, rideshare information, pedestrian and bicycle programs can all be found under the section labeled "Transportation Options". 

Commercial Vehicle Operations

Commercial Vehicle Operations: According to the Federal Highway Administration, trucks currently transport nearly 320 million tons of freight to and from Oregon valued at approximately $330 billion. Clearly, keeping trucks moving on Oregon's highways is vital to Oregon's continued economic vitality. For this reason, ODOT invests in a variety of technologies that are intended to reduce delay and improve safety for truckers. A specific example is the Green Light Preclearance Program which utilizes technology to keep trucks moving instead of stopping at weigh stations.