PATH presents Connected Corridors AMS Effort to Stakeholders

On Oct. 25, 2016 the Connected Corridors program staff held an Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) workshop at Caltrans District 7 headquarters in Los Angeles. The workshop presented over 30 stakeholders with detailed information on the traffic simulation model developed by PATH and how it will be used in the Connected Corridors Pilot, taking place on the I-210 corridor.

The event was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with James Colyar from FHWA and Vassili Alexiadis from Cambridge Systematics speaking at the workshop and reviewing the team’s AMS work.

The model includes 1,000 lane miles of road, 5,000 traffic detectors, 459 signalized intersections and control plans, 45 freeway ramp meters, and all rail and bus routes in the corridor, making it one of the most comprehensive models of a corridor currently available. Once the Connected Corridors Pilot is deployed, the model will evaluate traffic conditions and recommend appropriate response plans to counteract incident or event congestion. In order for the model and response plans to be useful, the model must have good data (to produce good results) and run quickly so the response plans can be implemented.

The traditional solution has been to run the model on computers with very high processing power, however, the Connected Corridors team will be running the model in the Amazon cloud so that computing power can be scaled as needed. Data quality is also of the upmost importance. The data must be timely, accurate, and cover the majority of the corridor. To ensure good data is provided to the model, the team has been working for months to fix freeway and arterial sensors and make sure detectors are returning accurate information. The model was also recently showcased as a part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) proposal being submitted by a group of universities including UC Berkeley.

Stakeholders were very positive about the model and the progress made on collecting high-quality data, as well as the response plans. “There was good interaction with the audience and positive discussions regarding calibration, estimation, prediction, and data quality,” says Anthony Patire, one of the workshop’s presenters. “Participants liked the 3-D traffic animation video created by Carol Zhang, one of our undergraduate researchers. We are now able to pull some building and land use data from Open Streetmaps into Aimsun for visualization. The video showed this new work through a Santa Anita reroute scenario. The workshop overall really highlighted the amount of effort that continues to go into the development of the I-210 model.”

Additionally, the work being done now is positioning the I-210 corridor to be an ideal candidate for future innovation and technologies such as connected and automated vehicles, integration with smart cities and regions, and transportation as a service. The Connected Corridors team will also be sharing the models, data, and algorithms with other Berkeley research initiatives as well as public and private agencies to further the state-of-the-practice in AMS and advance the field of transportation system management and operations in California and around the globe.