On October 16, 2012, ITS Minnesota held the 2012 Fall Industry Forum. This meeting provided a chance for discussion about commercial vehicle activities with respect to ITS, a description of the Downtown Minneapolis Interchange Project, an update on the mileage based user fee policy and procedures and finally a recap of Minnesota’s Innovative Ideas Program.
The first session focused on issues related to commercial vehicles. Ted Morris from the University of Minnesota discussed the Truck Parking Availability Study that he has been involved with. This project used machine vision to determine when rest areas had parking availability and displayed that information on DMS. Drowsy driving by commercial vehicle operators is prevalent, so knowledge about truck parking availability encourages drivers to rest.
Marc Nichols gave a presentation on his company’s Drivewyze product that can be used by commercial vehicles that are carrying acceptable loads to potentially legally pass by weigh stations. The system uses a cell phone app and geofencing to send signals through the Internet to wayside points for approval. The goal is that this system avoids costly roadside infrastructure and would be compatible with many state DOTs' systems.
The final presentation on commercial vehicle issues was by Captain Tim Rogotzke from the Minnesota State Patrol. He described the State Patrol’s efforts to monitor and enforce overweight vehicles. While the State Patrol has relied on portable scales and enforcement measures in the past, they are considering more permanent and semi-permanent facilities that will improve their ability to perform commercial vehicle enforcement.
George Fantauzza of the Interchange Project Office covered many aspects of the policy and progress of the Interchange Project. This transportation-related facility will link the various transit and multi-mode options near Target Field in Downtown Minneapolis. This complex project incorporates pedestrian and bike-friendly facilities and adds a large downtown green space.
The next session discussed the Mileage Based User Fee Alliance. Jack Brasso started with a discussion of the Alliance. This presentation also featured John Hausladen (Minnesota Trucking Association) and Nick Thompson (MnDOT) on the response panel.
The final session of the day focused on MnDOT’s productive Innovative Ideas program. This program allows organizations to implement ITS technologies in novel ways that improve Minnesota’s transportation program outside the standard ITS tools. This presentation started with Tom Sohrweide’s description of a method for arterial real-time traveler information using commercial probe data. Then Dean Deeter discussed the Real-Time Extract Assembly and Display (READ) software that builds upon CARS. Erik Minge described a wildlife detection system in the Metro area that uses roadside detectors to alert motorists when large animals are near the roadway. He played a funny clip from a morning radio show related to deer warning. Finally, Brian Kary discussed MnDOT’s experience with the Performance Monitoring System (PeMS).