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


UPDATE: Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

In the most recent Chain-up Delay Tracking with Bluetooth project development, the project team has finalized its recommendations for deployment locations and equipment to be used. The project, which aims to alleviate significant truck traffic delays on northbound I-5 north of Redding, CA when chains are required, is a component of the fifth phase of the COATS project.

Significant backups can occur along sections of I-5 north of Redding, CA when chain requirements are in place.

This CCTV image shows a severe truck traffic backup at Pine Grove.

When chain restrictions are in place, this section of roadway can experience a backup of trucks for 5 miles or more, all the way to Pine Grove, CA and beyond. Determining accurate delay times that could be displayed on changeable message signs (CMS) before the backup starts may reduce the wait times and backup length, which could improve safety within this corridor. Leveraging Bluetooth readers as data collection devices (recording MAC addresses and timestamps) this incubator project will develop an algorithm to model delay time as a function of chain control status.

In this recently released report, the project team identified the highest priority locations for deploying Bluetooth readers, based on the assumption that at least two but ideally three readers would be necessary. The highest priority is given to the Fawndale Road site, corresponding to the overpass immediately north of the chain-up area in question. The second highest priority is given to the CCTV site on the Pit River Bridge, which would correspond to free flow subsequent to chain up. Two alternatives are presented for a third site, with priority given to the Anderson CCTV site over the SR44 CCTV site in Redding.

Additionally, recommendations were given concerning the specific Bluetooth equipment to deploy. The principal criteria included availability of raw data (for the purpose of modeling), a long detection range and the ability to operate without reliance on cellular data, which may be unavailable or costly. The ability to read Wi-Fi transmissions was also considered as a positive attribute. The four readers recommended for further investigation are the Traffax Inc. BluFAX Chandler, the Savari Networks StreetWave, the DigiWest Blue MAC, and the Iteris Vantage Velocity. The StreetWave and Vantage Velocity are the only U.S.-manufactured Bluetooth readers identified with a Wi-Fi option.

The full report can be found here, and more information about the Chain-up Delay tracking with Bluetooth project can be found here.