U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
|This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information|
|Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-054 Date: December 2012|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-054
Date: December 2012
The following list describes a set of data collection, storage, and data manipulation capabilities that are common to most FMSs:
Time periods for data collection and archiving that are commonly employed by FMS are shown in table 8 .
Table 8. Data periods.
|Data Period Description||Typical Period||Examples of Use|
|Discrete data element||Each event||Crash report, incident report, and equipment event or failure|
|Data sampling or collection period||20 s to
|Traffic detector collection period for field detectors|
|Action periods||1 to
|Data accumulation periods for TMC actions such as traffic map displays, data filter updates, system-wide ramp metering, incident management, automatic dynamic message sign (DMS) messaging, and system tuning|
|Common reporting and analysis interval||5 min,
15 min, 1 h
|Studies of traffic patterns by TMC personnel and others|
|Daily reports||1 day||Daily data consolidations and planning|
|Annual reports||1 year||Performance evaluations and planning|
An example of the general relationship between data uses and data characteristics is shown in table 9 .(12)
Table 9. Data uses and characteristics.
|Type of Data Use||User||Data Used||Source|
|Long-term planning||PSRC||AADT volume||Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Annual Traffic Report(13)|
|Highway Performance Monitoring System VMT||WSDOT Data Office|
|24-h and peak volume counts||Ramp & Roadway Report(14)|
|24-h volume counts||City and County Tube Collections|
|WSDOT Planning Office||Volume counts||Annual Traffic Report(13)|
|Forecasted efficiency data||PSRC|
|Performance monitoring||PSRC||AADT volume||Annual Traffic Report(13)|
|24-h and peak volume counts||Ramp & Roadway|
|24-h volume counts||City and County Tube Collections|
|Long-range planning and project planning||WSDOT Transportation Data Office||AADT volumes||Annual Traffic Report(13)|
|Projected volume data||PSRC|
|Turning movements||Northwest Region Planning Office|
|Vehicle occupancy||Northwest Region Planning Office|
|Vehicle classification||Northwest Region Planning Office|
|Specific volume counts||Northwest Region Planning Office|
|Travel time and speed||Consultants|
|Pedestrian and bicycle counts||Consultants|
|Performance Monitoring||WSDOT Office Of Urban Mobility||Volume counts||Travel-Time Reporting and Integrated Performance System (TRIPS)|
|Research||Washington State Transportation Center, Transportation Northwest, and the University of Washington Researchers||20 s, 1 min, 5 min, 15 min||WSDOT Transportation System Management Center|
|Volume counts and lane occupancy||Ramp & Roadway Report(14)|
|Peak volume counts||Annual Traffic Report(13)|
|AADT volumes||Automated data collection stations (ADCSs), autoscope|
|Speed||WSDOT Data Office|
|Vehicle classification||ADCS, autoscope|
|Vehicle occupancy||Washington State Transportation Center|
Note: PRSC denotes the region's Metropolitan Planning Organization.
This project develops methodologies for employing FMS data to generate many of the evaluation measures described in table 6. Data collected every 5 min are the building blocks for freeway-based measures that develop or utilize travel time or delay. Figure 2 shows an example of a data aggregation structure for freeway point detector data.(15)
Figure 2. Illustration. Example of data aggregation structure.
Although the capability exists in traffic signal systems to collect and archive volume, occupancy, and speed data (at a particular location), other than some adaptive signal systems, traffic signal systems generally do not have the capability to provide data for the measures needed to obtain key parameters such as travel time and delay. Section 6 of this report describes some recently developed techniques that may be employed to provide these measures. To be consistent with independent volume measures such as automatic traffic recorders and manual count collections, a 15-min period is recommended as the basic surface street evaluation interval.
A data structure concept is required to relate the data sources (e.g., detector data, crash reports, and incidents) to a construct that may be used for evaluation purposes. An example of a construct that might be used for evaluation purposes includes the following:
FMSs generally contain a software capability to provide a reference framework to relate detectors to the link structure for the freeway network. If the FMS does not have such a capability, the evaluation methodology must provide it. A reference system that is based on traffic flow entry and exit points is preferred for the following reasons:
An example of a reference system that meets this requirement is shown in figure 3 .
A link represents a section of the mainline between vehicle access or egress points. The concept of a domain is introduced in figure 3 to relate data from freeway surveillance stations to mainline links. Domains relate links and DMSs  to the roadway locations receiving information from a particular point detector station. As shown in the figure, each domain is related to a particular detector station. Domain boundaries are established at link nodes and at the DMS. Where a link encompasses more than one detector station, domain boundaries are used to separate the regions for which each detector station will be employed. Note that none of the detectors in figure 3 exist within the physical boundaries of domain 4; that domain obtains its information from detector station 4. Section 6 of this report discusses detector deployment requirements.
Figure 4 shows a similar diagram for probe-based surveillance. The asterisks identify locations for probe travel time measurements. These boundaries may be established by physical equipment locations (i.e., toll tag reader locations or locations of Bluetooth® readers) or may be virtual boundaries for other types of probe detection systems such as those based on a Global Positioning System (GPS). While it is sometimes possible to co-locate virtual or actual boundaries with link boundaries, this is not always the case. The probe-measured travel times are converted to speeds, and these speeds, in conjunction with link lengths, are used to estimate travel link travel times. Probe-based detection does not provide volume estimates, so supplementing these data with other information is required for the system-based measures required for benefit-cost analysis. In order to obtain system-wide delay and travel time measures with probe detection, at least one source of volume per link is required. Technologies for implementing probes and other sensors are discussed in section 6 of this report.
Figure 3. Illustration. Example of link, domain, and detector station relationships.
Figure 4. Illustration. Example of link, domain, and probe site relationships.
For archiving purposes, FMS volume, speed, and occupancy data from point detectors may be stored at 5-min intervals and aggregated into 15-min and 1-h intervals, as in the Florida STEWARD system.(8) The 5- and 15-min intervals provide convenient processing intervals for many of the delay-related computations described in section 5 of this report. Building on these concepts, a useful methodology develops these measures using the spatial/temporal relationship shown in figure 5. The methodology described uses the domain concept as the basis for freeway mainline data accumulation (see figure 3 and figure 4).
Figure 5. Illustration. Data accumulation methodology.
Detector data are used to obtain these measures at the domain level for 5-min periods and are accumulated at the link level. The 15-min period at the link level is a convenient building block for many of the evaluation measures. The path to computing this level for the 15-min period is shown by the solid trace. The dashed traces show the paths to other spatial levels and time periods. Depending on the particular measure to be computed and the purpose (reports, etc.), the 15-min data may be aggregated by time according to the particular spatial relationship required for the purpose.
2 Although not strictly needed for the detector to link relationships, figure 3 includes DMS in the domain definitions to facilitate the implementation of messaging using a common reference frame.