Millions of dollars are spend each year on ITS with little consideration for the quality of the product and for its long term maintenance. The cause of this problem is that there are no criteria for the test results of these devices. State and local agencies purchase specific products to meet their needs without assurances that vendor's performance claims can be met. This then requires agencies to often conduct their own testing, requiring an investment of time and money, or aspects of devices are never tested which results in higher maintenance costs and loss of service.
Furthermore, past and current use of traffic monitoring devices has raised several concerns about data quality:
- The consequences of the absence of hardware standardization;
- The effect of the absence of standard specifications for procurement purposes;
- The result of the lack of performance standards and certification procedures;
- The usefulness of states sharing test results (should any informal sharing occur) without test standards;
- Data inconsistencies and incompatibilities; and
- Reliability and quality control problems associated with field equipment and instrumentation.
It is believed that National standards would resolve, or reduce the impact of many of these issues. Current guidance such as "Test Methods for Traffic Monitoring Devices" give options instead of actual guidance as to what is reasonable to assume when testing.
In reference to Traffic monitoring devices, we refer to devices (and the support structure for devices) measuring vehicle presence, speed, axles, classification, or weight (WIM), for both freeway and arterial operation.
The overall goal of this project is to determine the feasibility of a national certification program, and to develop a roadmap.
Scope of Work
Specific objectives include:
1. Identify existing TMD testing facilities and their capabilities and collaborate with them regarding the use of the existing TMD standards for their testing programs.
2. Determine if a national certification program is feasible.
3. Develop a phased plan with contingencies; to create a national certification including potential roadblocks and how those can be overcome.
For states involved in previous VDC pooled fund studies, this is a continuation of that work which fell short of a national certification program. The goal of this study is to determine what it will take to develop this certification program. We will then follow up with another national study to develop that program based on the results.
The standardization of testing will lead to lower costs for state and local agencies involved in testing, and enhanced performance for TMDs. These enhancements will result in less delay, and lower costs.