Workers are still trying to restore power to more than half a million homes in the Northeastern U.S. after a powerful winter storm gripped the United States.
The week ahead could go into the record books as the longest stretch of freezing weather since the arctic blast of December 1990.
Oregon’s Department of Transportation has a distributed architecture in the Portland region with four operations centers and infrastructure that includes 135 ramp meters, 141 traffic cameras, 16 highway advisory radio stations, and 54 permanent variable message signs, and 3,400 traffic signals 35% of which are interconnected.
In Portland, fiber optic cable for monitoring highways was installed in partnerships with the City of Portland, TriMet, the Portland DOT and the Washington DOT. These partners formed the Cooperative Telecommunications Infrastructure Committee (pdf), which keeps track of all the fiber installed in the Portland/Beaverton/Gresham areas
Other elements include TripCheck service, 511 service, and cable TV access to road information in Bend, Portland, and Corvallis. Oregon’s ITS also includes 58 weather stations, 10 weather warning systems, 5 speed/road geometry warning systems, and 9 remotely operated snow zone signs.
Future systems may include vehicle integration for in-vehicle signing and information delivery, data collection, and vehicle control.
Washington State DOT offers offers mountain pass reports via e-mail, text messages to cell phone and Twitter. More than 25 specialized e-mail alerts are available, including news and information for freight haulers, construction related traffic revisions, project updates from all around the state, and timely updates on pass conditions.
The Department of Transportation in your state may have live cameras and real-time traffic conditions.
Portland’s bus system, like others, uses an Automatic Vehicle Location System which tracks bus location and schedule status. Opticom gives authorized emergency vehicles a green light at intersections. If conditions are met, bus emitter (Opticom) communicates priority request to signal. Signal controller then grants priority request.
Traffic.com (left), a NAVTEQ company, is a leading provider of personalized traffic information and has launched JamCast for real-time traffic video in 30 metropolitan areas across the U.S.. JamCast features patented Jam Factor roadway traffic measurements that allow commuters to easily understand the relative congestion level with a number on a scale from 1 to 10.
According to the Technology Review article, the only comparable product on the market today is developed by LandSonar, a San Francisco-based company. Its software is also based on historical traffic data that is integrated with digital maps. The company recently partnered with TrafficCast to launch an updated version with more data and real-time content, but its product remains limited to only 450,000 miles of roadway for three days of the week.
TrafficLand, a Virginia-based company, provides live traffic feeds and traffic information in 32 cities, including New York and to municipalities, radio stations and state highways administrations nationwide. Their video network provides access to over 6,000 cameras in 60 markets worldwide. They use Google Maps to display camera locations. Users click camera icons to view live video and they can customize and save camera displays showing frequently traveled routes and receive live images via email.
TrafficLand and WeatherBug combined their services to let users type in their zip code and view thousands of live local traffic cameras as well as view The WeatherBug Network consists of more than 8,000 weather stations and 1,200 live weather cameras, located primarily at schools, major sporting venues and public facilities. They also supply plume modeling software for hazardous incidents. Will Homeland Security track objects across multiple cameras? Who knows. Sure.
Verizon wireless users can watch WeatherBug’s latest Tropical Storm videos and track Hurricanes on Verizon Wireless’ VCAST Video and other mobile services. WeatherBug’s Android application for the Android G1 phone is available free.
At the World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) last month in New York, on-board vehicle communications system were demoed that support both WiFi using 802.11 a/b/g and the 5.9 GHz band which is dedicated to transportation applications.
Traffic and other information can be shared between vehicles and among vehicles and traffic control stations using the Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology with sensors and probes collecting data and transmiting real-time information to other drivers/vehicles in the area.
A Predator drone aircraft will patrol part of of the border with Canada. The first missions, designed to help spot people crossing the border illegally or avoiding ports of entry, are expected to start next month.
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