Tests first RFID-based traffic data system to collect information from highways and arterial roads
San Antonio — April 26, 2004 — TransCore, which provides Florida's SunPass technology and Orlando E-PASS system maintenance, said it is developing a radio frequency identification (RFID) travel time, data collection system as part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5's iFlorida program.
TransCore said the system will gather data using wireless RFID technology, providing the infrastructure to deliver expanded traffic information to Florida drivers and FDOT. The system is designed to speed response to traffic incidents and events, alleviate congestion and improve day-to-day operations. The system is scheduled to become operational by December 2004.
The iFlorida program is an ambitious series of test projects meant to demonstrate the wide array of functions and services that can be enabled by a high-tech surface transportation security information system. FDOT District 5 competed nationally for a Federal Highway Administration grant to fund the project and was the only agency to receive one.
TransCore's travel time data collection system is one of five subprojects grouped within the Central Florida Field Elements Deployment, the first and largest iFlorida project, being headed by Traffic Control Devices Inc. of Altamonte Springs, Fla.
"The Orange County test location is ideal since it is one of the busiest regions in the country with heavy tourism," said Michael Caylor, TransCore's vice president and regional director for Florida.
TransCore is providing custom data collection software and installing 117 radio frequency identification (RFID) readers in 52 locations around Orange County. The readers will scan traffic for vehicles with SunPass and E-PASS RFID tags. Currently, there are more than one million SunPass users and 418,000 E-PASS users, providing a large enough sample area to provide qualitative information. With RFID-equipped vehicles acting as anonymous probes in the traffic flow, the system can collect information such as traffic volume and speed.
Plans call for 15 reader sites on freeways — located on the Florida Turnpike, SR 528 and SR 417 — adding 55 miles of traffic information coverage on limited access roads in the area. Thirty-three arterial road sites will provide traffic information for the area's seven busiest secondary roads, totaling 128 miles of coverage. In addition, five sites will use anonymous license plate recognition to increase the number of probes where RFID tags may be less prevalent.
Fiber-optic and other networks will channel data from the 52 reader sites to a central location for processing, analysis and distribution. Anyone with Internet access will be able to use the Travel Times Web page online to get up-to-the-minute traffic information provided by the new system.
TransCore said it has worked with the state of Florida deploying intelligent transportation systems for almost two decades and designed the SunPass tag to meet the design specifications that at the time were not offered any where in the country.
In January 1997, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded TransCore the state's largest electronic toll collection (ETC) contract for installation of approximately 460 ETC lanes throughout the state.
TransCore also designed, installed and now maintains the 195-lane E-PASS toll collection and traffic management system in Orange County, as well as designed and installed all the hardware and software for the E-PASS and O-PASS customer service centers, which support both the Orlando-Orange County Expressway, Osceola Parkway and three Florida Department of Transportation highways.