As part of its long-term program of helping the state’s drivers make better journey decisions, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is adding travel time information to its variable message signs (VMS), powered by Inrix’s real-time traffic data.
To assist motorists in time for the Christmas holidays, ADOT is now posting estimated travel times on the digital message boards on Interstate 10 from the New Mexico state line, through Tucson, and on to the Phoenix metropolitan area. For example, the eastbound I-10 message sign in the Casa Grande area now shows travel times to Picacho and to Tucson, while the westbound sign in the same area displays travel times to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange as well as to central Phoenix. The new VMS information is ADOT’s latest phase in expanding the display of highway travel times across the state.
They were first introduced on a limited basis along Phoenix-area freeways in 2008. The program was expanded across the Phoenix area in 2014. Travel times also have been displayed for the past five years on five message boards along I-10 and I-19 in the Tucson area. ADOT has since designed a software application to automatically process real-time traffic data from Inrix, the mobility analytics company that helps transportation agencies monitor, measure and manage traffic information. Using the live Inrix data, the new software allowed ADOT to start posting travel times along I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff last year, and to move ahead with the I-10 program this week. The agency plans to extend the travel times program in phases to other digital message boards across the state over the next two months.
“We’re pleased to be able to provide estimated travel times to drivers in rural areas of the state,” said Brent Cain, who leads ADOT’s transportation systems management and operations division. “Technology has come a long way in the past decade. We’re giving more drivers a better idea of highway conditions up ahead, especially if they see a longer than normal travel time posted.”
ADOT’s director, John Halikowski, added, “It’s great to expand travel time displays along I-10, especially ahead of the holiday travel period. The I-10 is one of the state’s busiest key commerce corridors, so we want to provide drivers with information that can help with their highway travel.”