OptaSense Traffic Monitoring Solution Deployed on I-29 Highway, Fargo, North Dakota
First deployment of fiber-optic based traffic monitoring in the United States of America
- I-29 in Fargo, North Dakota
- Delivery of fiber-optic based Traffic
- Implemented by NDDOT, Global
Innovative Solutions and OptaSense
- OptaSense Traffic Monitoring
– Average Speed
– Journey Time(s)
– Congested Detection
– Queue Detection
- High quality, real time traffic
information delivered to the Traffic
- Opportunity for further deployments
North Dakota Department of Transport (NDDOT) became the first state DOT within the United States to deploy distributed fiber optic-based highway traffic monitoring and traffic counting technology when it successfully deployed the OptaSense Traffic Monitoring Solution (TMS) onto a section of the I-29 highway in Fargo, North Dakota during 2016. Following a thorough analysis of the benefits of the technology NDDOT installed a dedicated fiber to enable monitoring of both sides of the I-29 and selected ramps on a 4.5 mile trial section. This initial project has been completed successfully and NDDOT has presented their findings and future plans for the technology to the national State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC).
Access to accurate and up to date traffic flow and traffic count information is essential in helping NDDOT plan, design and manage their highways. Current point-based solutions for providing this information, such as inductive loop based technology and temporary pneumatic tube-based traffic counting systems, suffer from a number of operational drawbacks. Specifically, the inductive loop based technology are installed in the pavement, are prone to failure and are vulnerable to damage during roadway maintenance. NDDOTs wishes to improve the quality of available traffic information, lower their data collection costs and lessen the impact of operational issues associated with existing sensor solutions. The OptaSense TMS delivers on these objectives by converting roadside fiber optic cable into an intelligent sensor which monitors the entire road. Each roadside deployment can monitor up to fifty miles of highway which offers the opportunity to replace multiple point sensors with a single roadside implementation to significantly reduce the maintenance burden.
Having completed the initial trial NDDOT intends to look at additional applications for the existing solution and will work with OptaSense to introduce required solution enhancements. Additional applications include using the OptaSense TMS to better understand the effects of weather on traffic flow, potentially informing the rapid deployment of snow and ice control forces and better understanding the need and benefits of investment in adverse weather control capabilities. Solution enhancements include a second project phase to assess the viability of using the OptaSense TMS for vehicle classification according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) classification classes.
The OptaSense Traffic Monitoring Solution can deliver the following real-time highway traffic monitoring applications:
- Average Traffic Speed
- Automated Congestion
- Automated Queue Detection
- Average Journey Times
- Vehicle Count
- Flow Rate