MDOT chooses ITS technologies for research spotlight

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently chose Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies for its research spotlight because the technologies are able to decrease crashes, traffic delays and emissions while still making notable returns with investments.

The project, entitled "Costs and Benefits of MDOT Intelligent Transportation System Deployments," began in June 2013 and ended in July 2015. The cost of the project amounted to $235,933.

The project was designed to determine whether the ITS program was valuable and cost effective. ITS claims to guarantee that traffic operations will be improve and safety will be enhanced. Given the expense of these devices, it was important to know whether the benefits outweighed the costs.

The "Costs and Benefits" project helped researchers to create information in a benefit-cost analysis that is easy to understand and involved more than 800 ITS devices located throughout Michigan and spanned more than 500 miles of the state’s highways. Drivers participated in a survey and stated that they were pleased with ITS outcomes. In addition, the benefit-cost analysis shows that there are notable returns on this particular investment.

The analysis showed that Closed-Circuit Television had a benefit-cost ratio of $3.95 for every dollar, while Dynamic Message Signs and Freeway Courtesy Patrol had a benefit-cost ratio of $3.81 and $3.82, respectively, proving that Michigan's ITS implementation has had a positive return on investment.  

“It was important to MDOT management to understand the costs and benefits of ITS technologies,” Collin Castle, the MDOT project manager and Connected Vehicle specialist for MDOT, said. “The information will help us make wise investment decisions in the future.”

Organizations in this story

Michigan Department of Transportation 425 W Ottawa St Lansing, MI - 48909

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