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Michigan wins ITS America Awards

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) has recognized two projects that were championed by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) with its ‘Best of ITS Awards’. The agency earned an award in the Best New Innovative Practice - Partnership Deployment category for its Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) project and was a finalist in another category, Best New Innovative Practice - Sustainability in Transportation, for its I-94 truck parking information and management system (TPIMS) project. The DOT also won a ‘Best Technical Paper’ award for a white paper it submitted on the TPIMS project. The Society’s Best of ITS Awards annually recognizes organizations within the transportation community that have initiated projects, which have demonstrated specific and measurable outcomes and have exemplified innovation.

The AVL project uses GPS to enable MDOT to remotely track the location of its vehicle fleet through a web interface and allows the agency to efficiently and effectively deploy snowplows and track winter maintenance activities. MDSS is an automated decision-support tool for road maintenance supervisors. It is a multi-layered, information system that provides forecasts, predictions, reports on observed weather and road conditions, serves as a training tool, and serves as a management support system that MDOT uses year-round.

MDOT’s TPIMS project was unveiled earlier this month to assess truck parking availability along the I-94 corridor in southwest Michigan and deliver real-time parking availability information to truck drivers. MDOT is using a number of high-tech methods to share parking availability information, including dynamic roadside truck parking signs, website and smartphone applications, and a fleet of pilot trucks equipped with on-board connected vehicle equipment. “I’m thrilled that MDOT employees, long-time national leaders in innovation, are being recognized for finding efficiencies through leveraging technology,” said State Transportation Director, Kirk T Steudle. “I’m confident our employees’ passion for doing things safer, smarter, faster and cheaper will lead to even more breakthroughs in intelligent transportation.

September 17, 2014

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