Impact of the One-Stop-Shop


One-Stop-Shop for Rural Traveler Information

All Roads. All Routes. One Stop.

Travel and weather don’t end at the state or district border; with OSS, traveler information doesn’t either.

“The long distance traveler doesn't care that he has crossed a state line or district boundary. What he wants is accurate, timely and reliable road condition and weather information all along a route - from beginning to end. OSS finally gives us the ability to get route oriented real-time Traveler Information to the public in an effective manner.”
- Ian Turnbull, Chief,
Caltrans Office of ITS Engineering and Support
One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 8/17/2016, Fire Incidents Layer. One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 8/3/2013, CCTV Camera Image.

The One-Stop-Shop web application provides travelers with comprehensive, real-time data that can be used in trip planning. OSS presents routing functionality, CCTV images, weather information, elevation profiles, rest areas, points of interest and more in a consistent, easily accessible and intuitive interface that allows travelers to plan both in-state trips and trips that cross state borders.

From the Pacific to the Rocky Mountains, from Canada to Mexico.

The One-Stop-Shop currently provides traveler information for 11 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Borderless information was not the norm for Traveler Information websites before this project. It is now possible to plan a trip from San Diego to Seattle and see all of the relevant information regarding the conditions you will encounter.

One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 10/13/2016, Weather Layer.

The data used by OSS comes from many sources. Making all of that information available in one location had not been done before OSS. The One-Stop-Shop fills a critical gap in traveler information: while many individual states operate information portals for their own highways, OSS was one of the first systems to synthesize data from multiple state DOT’s. OSS is intended to complement each state’s traveler information website, not compete with them.

OSS serves a large population that depends on real-time traveler information. These users include:

  • Local, regional, and long distance travelers;
  • Local and state transportation agency personnel;
  • Emergency responders;
  • Commercial vehicle operators; and
  • The Traveling Public in general.

OSS has a direct and immediate impact on travelers who use the site by providing the ability to plan trips and make real-time travel decisions. This protects and enhances both traveler safety and mobility, especially in rural areas.

“[OSS is] very helpful in helping me to decide when to leave on my run, especially up into Oregon, as that weather changes abruptly at times. The weather data provided (both current and forecast) helps me greatly when traveling on US97. I-5 gets all kinds of informational coverage, but finding information for the other highways can be very, very trying. [It] also helps to know what to expect in certain trouble prone areas.”
- Surveyed OSS user

“In recent lightning induced fires in Northern California, [OSS] was instrumental in gauging where the fires could be headed based on wind speed... This allowed our center to be better prepared for all of the many ‘what if’ situations we were faced with.”
- Dispatcher, Caltrans Transportation Management Center

“It will be really useful for planning our trips when we are doing field work or visiting our agencies.”
- Surveyed OSS user

“It can’t be beat for travel planning and checking on road conditions, accidents, looking at web cam, etc. Beats calling in for road conditions.”
- Surveyed OSS user

“OSS was very helpful when driving from Montana to Oregon and back in the middle of winter. It aided in planning my trip by allowing me to see the upcoming road conditions, knowing when the best times of the day would be to go over the many mountain passes to minimize travel on snow and ice, avoid traffic congestion, view highway cameras, and see upcoming travel alerts and weather forecasts. OSS is a great tool that is easy to use and removes the need to visit multiple websites to retrieve weather and road conditions in each state. I now primarily use OSS when traveling through the states covered by the web application.”
- Student, Montana State University

One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 1/18/2012, Snow Forecast Layer. One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 10/13/2016, Traffic Layer.

“The OSS team has produced a world-class system that has a unique approach to solving multiple complex problems in the aggregation and delivery of traveler information. Through a strong technical team, partnerships and a steady vision, the OSS platform is the definitive answer to rural traveler information in the western United States.”
- Sean Campbell, Chief,
ITS Special Projects Branch, Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information

At the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit, Michigan, the One-Stop-Shop was announced as the winner of ITS America’s Best of ITS Award for Best New Innovative Practice — Research Design and Innovation. ITS America presents these awards to “the most prominent and innovative transportation technology leaders in the Americas” whose projects exemplify innovation and demonstrate specific and measurable outcomes.

Intelligent Transportation Society of America - 2014 World Congress.

Read more about this award in the OSS project update from September 18th, 2014.

Relying generally on word of mouth, a link here and a link there, usage of OSS has grown tremendously. Doug Galarus, Principal Investigator for the OSS project, comments:

“We started collecting statistics on OSS usage in November 2011. Since then, the number of users and the amount of information they are viewing has increased dramatically. To date (as of September 16, 2016), we have had over 400,000 user sessions and over 16,000,000 CCTV camera images have been viewed. OSS has been accessed from over 120 countries, from all 50 U.S. States, over 4200 cities and towns in the US, and over 700 cities and towns in California. On December 24th, 2015, there were 6190 user sessions and over 320,000 CCTV images served. We expect the upcoming winter to be another record year for the One-Stop-Shop, particularly if we have a rough winter.”
- Doug Galarus, Program Manager and Senior Research Scientist, WTI/MSU
(and Principal Investigator on OSS)

Check out some of the past project updates to see how OSS has provided valuable traveler information when conditions have been affected by winter weather, fires, and other incidents.

One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 12/18/2015, CCTV Camera Image. One-Stop-Shop screenshot, 1/18/2012, Changeable Message Sign.

The OSS application impacts transportation agencies and the traveling public on multiple levels. Here are some of the benefits of OSS:

  • OSS provides easy access to real-time traveler information all in one place which protects and enhances traveler safety and mobility in rural areas.
  • OSS enables travelers to “know before they go” so that they may make the best travel decisions.
  • OSS can reduce the impacts of nonrecurring congestion and unexpected delays by notifying travelers of various roadway incidents (e.g., vehicle accidents, weather, work zones, road closures, etc.).
  • OSS facilitates operations for transportation, emergency response, and public safety agencies, allowing them to assess conditions, coordinate resources, and expedite response activities.
  • For commercial drivers and their firms, OSS can serve as a valuable routing and scheduling tool to improve performance and maximize efficiency for freight movement and other services.
  • The OSS project aggregates numerous data layers including CCTV, CMS, RWIS, current and forecast weather, rest area locations, etc. from state departments of transportation, the National Weather Service, and other entities. It currently covers the eleven contiguous states that overlap with or are located west of the Rocky Mountains. As such, users can access a single website rather than dozens of separate websites to plan their trips. The system takes the source data “as-is” to minimize/eliminate the costs of participation to agencies providing data.
  • OSS demonstrates that ITS technologies can be cost-effective by increasing the availability of critical road, weather and related information without costly infrastructure construction or installations.
  • The OSS project yielded the underlying technical architecture for ITS data acquisition from Caltrans’ 12 districts.
  • The development of OSS provided a research platform for the California statewide traveler information website, QuickMap; portions of the OSS technology were integrated into the QuickMap effort.
  • As a result of OSS Phase II, Caltrans enhanced its Commercial Wholesale Web Portal (CWWP) to provide consistent, documented traveler information raw data to third parties to integrate into their applications.
  • OSS Phase II also provided Caltrans a proof of concept framework for weather layers which will be integrated into QuickMap.
  • State transportation agencies have increasingly adopted an “operations” approach to their highway networks, focusing on improving use of existing assets. The real-time information capabilities offered by new technologies like OSS can help agencies better manage the system.
  • OSS supports national transportation priorities and initiatives to “improve response to weather events and facilitate national and regional traveler information.” (FHWA Real-Time System Management Information Program)
  • Functional efficiency – OSS has dramatically improved the delivery of traveler information throughout the region. At one web location, travelers can see what conditions exist and what conditions are expected over their entire route.
  • The methods, procedures and designs developed for this project are applicable in any traveler information dataset. Because of the way OSS was designed, the platform can be readily expanded to handle additional states and new data layers as they become available.
  • The technology is used for numerous project applications in addition to OSS, including WeatherShare, Integration of Aviation AWOS with RWIS, Integrated Corridor Management (ICM), and the FHWA Clarus Data project.

While the One-Stop-Shop has been developed according to specific requirements based on a Concept of Operations, some unanticipated results have become apparent over the course of development:

  • As a result of processing and displaying data on a map, it was discovered that location data coming from the DOTs for some ITS field elements, as well as station locations from weather stations provided by the National Weather Service and the Federal Highway Administration, were inaccurate. The research team has worked in partnership with the DOTs to identify more accurate location data and improve the quality of the external data coming into OSS. The project team continues to investigate automated methods for detecting such issues.
  • In California, each of the 12 districts had different data feeds. As a result of OSS, these feeds have been streamlined and consolidated into a more efficient and accessible format.
  • In the original OSS prototype, external data was retrieved, processed, and served up via a server located at WTI. However, challenges arose regarding timing and frequency of CCTV images and meeting the requirements for timely and reliable data. To address this, CCTV images are now referenced from the source.

The One-Stop-Shop for Rural Traveler Information - The Place to look before you drive.