The I-95 Corridor Coalition recognizes the importance of real-time traveler information as evidenced through their management of the Vehicle Probe Data project. While en-route, the timely provision of real-time traveler information allows travelers to anticipate the magnitude of delays and potentially alter their trip to avoid congestion. While most traveler information is targeted to regular motorists, there are few services geared towards the specific needs of the operators in the commercial vehicle community.
The commercial vehicle industry has been extremely forthcoming over the years in studies (i.e., I-95 Coalition, TRB, ITS America, industry) regarding the type of travel-related information that most critically meets their needs. However, there has been limited advancement in optimizing data from systems, or linkages of such systems, that would improve delivery of traveler information to the motor carrier industry. The type of critical and priority time-sensitive traveler information that would support mobility, efficiency and safety for commercial vehicle travel includes:
- information on height and weight restrictions for bridges and tunnels;
- linkage of oversize-overweight routing information to facilitate seamless routing;
- hazmat restrictions and truck routing for specific roadways – particularly during disruptions of normal routes;
- truck parking availability; and
- improved information during major events that targets the different needs of commercial vehicles recognizing such nuances as restoration of roadways for passenger vehicles may not restore unrestricted commercial vehicle access.
This information is generally housed in different departments within a single agency and/or within separate state agencies. Rarely are the various data systems that support the type of information that is critical to commercial vehicle routing (as noted above) integrated into transportation operating agencies’ traffic operations centers (TOCs). Consequently, information that is disseminated during events (or information that is utilized by industries that build commercial GIS or other information devices) does not typically include the correct or full compliment of data sets needed to provide accurate or time-sensitive information the motor carriers can rely on for routing and/or trip planning.