California Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) Update - January 26th, 2015


UPDATE: Monday, January 26th, 2015

COATS Phase 6 is now underway with the goals of continued demonstration and evaluation of ITS technologies through incubator projects identified by the Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP), as well as provision of ongoing knowledge transfer activities from the Western States Forum. The incubator projects have been identified by the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) states of California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada, to continue the demonstration of ITS technologies in a rural context. This will provide benefit for stakeholders both within and outside the COATS region. Among the tasks slated for completion during COATS Phase 6 are the following:

Western States Rural Transportation Technology Implementers Forum

The annual Forum, a meeting focused on providing technology transfer and networking opportunities for professionals working in design, implementation, and maintenance of ITS technologies in rural environments, will continue during this phase of COATS.

During the October-December 2014 quarter, initial planning efforts for the 2015 Forum were completed. A “Save the Date” postcard was distributed and the Call for Abstracts was posted. Reservations for meeting space and lodging, as well as preliminary plans for networking events, were made. Updated information on the June 2015 Forum can be seen on the Forum website.

In the upcoming quarter, abstracts will be reviewed and speakers notified of their selection. First drafts of presentations will be due at the end of the quarter. The Steering Committee will review the drafts and provide feedback to the speakers. The Forum brochure will be developed and registration will open in early March. Overall event organization and planning will continue.

The 10th Annual Forum will be held in Yreka, California, June 16th-18th, 2015. For more information about the 2015 Forum, visit the Forum website at

Year 1 Incubator Projects

During the first year of the COATS 6 effort, the research team will complete two incubator projects, low-cost research efforts that serve as a “proof of concept” to potentially develop into a larger effort in the future or answer research questions in a limited scope. These incubator projects are described below.

Technology Incubator: Data Quality for Aggregation and Dissemination of DOT Traveler Information: An Analysis of Existing System Best Practices

Data quality is an important consideration for the provision of traveler information. It has generally been handled on an ad-hoc basis, with little or no provision for error notification other than perhaps through user-reporting of observed errors. In light of this, the goal of this project is to analyze and document existing system best practices for data quality for the aggregation and dissemination of state department of transportation traveler information.

During the October-December quarter, a survey was drafted and a contact list compiled. During the upcoming quarter, the project team will administer the survey and continue discussions with state DOTs to determine the current state of the practice for traveler information data quality.

Safety/Operations Incubator: Evaluation of the Fredonyer Summit Icy Curve Warning System –Before and After Study of Long-Term Effectiveness

The Fredonyer Pass Icy Curve Warning System (ICWS) was deployed by Caltrans on State Highway 36 to increase driver vigilance and reduce the number of crashes occurring during icy pavement conditions in real-time. An initial evaluation performed during the COATS Phase 4 project evaluated the short term (1 ½ years) performance of the system following its deployment in the winter of 2008-2009. For this incubator project, the research team will examine the speed and crash trends for the system over the longer term (2008-2009 to 2014-2015 winter seasons).

During the October – December quarter, a literature review was conducted and initial data analysis activities were performed. Moving forward, the research team will acquire speed and crash data and perform initial data analysis.

OSS Screenshot, 2014-12-11: CCTV camera image at Fredonyer Summit showing an icy and snow covered roadway.

Bluetooth Evaluation for Siskiyou Summit Chain-Control Chain-Up Area North of Redding

For this incubator project, the research team will utilize Bluetooth readers to develop a preliminary prototype algorithm to predict delays through a chain-up area.

Over the course of the past quarter the research team identified and contacted vendors of prospective equipment. During the January-March quarter this vendor list will be summarized for review by the PTAP and subsequent work in Year 2.

Back-up at Fawndale - Caltrans Image Back-up at Pine Grove - Caltrans Image

Long-Term Operational and Safety Impacts of Radar Speed Signs

The research team will perform an evaluation of the long-term effects on crashes and speed trends of Radar Speed Signs using historical data from existing, permanent sign locations in California. Check back for more information on this project in the future.

Permanent Pole-mounted Unit, Photo by Ian Turnbull

Check back next quarter for more COATS project updates.