October 24, 2007

Dr. Sherif Ishak and Dr. Brian Wolshon were awarded a one-year research project in the amount of $50,000 to lay the foundation for establishing a state-of-the-art ITS lab at Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC). This lab will serve to collect, analyze, and report data as part of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) effort in Louisiana. The purpose of the lab is to develop and demonstrate procedures that successfully transform existing ITS data into useful information, and then pass the procedures on to agencies in order to apply them on a routine basis. It is also expected that the lab will be utilized to complete analysis functions for the DOTD and to develop, evaluate, and refine procedures for more effectively using the ITS system offline.

The new lab will serve primarily the metropolitan and state transportation authorities in their service to the traveling public. The information will allow transportation officials to inform the public of current and expected future traffic conditions, and assist in developing operational strategies that make the best use of existing infrastructure. The lab will also serve academics, researchers, and practitioners in providing access to raw and processed data of traffic flow. The lab is also anticipated to be a tool to retain, recruit, and inspire interest in the field of advanced traffic management systems for students in Louisiana as well as potential graduate students from outside Louisiana. The short-term measure of the success of the lab will be reflected in the capability to stream traffic data in real time from traffic monitoring sites that are connected to the TMC. Also, the lab will offer technical reporting capabilities that assist users in extracting the most relevant information needed from such data.

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