Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
The primary objective of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program is to integrate advanced technologies into the current system for greater efficiency and improved safety. Our investigators determine possible uses for a broad range of technologies, including wireless and wire line communications, information technologies and various other electronic applications and equipment. We are involved in the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of various types of ITS-related projects.
The program has enjoyed national prominence for more than 20 years and began with a substantial role in Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) projects, particularly the Advantage I-75 Mainline Automated Clearance System. In addition to CVO projects, we have conducted a variety of research projects for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and various state and federal transportation agencies as well as private companies. Our research areas range from studies of virtual weigh station technology to traffic control procedures for emergency responders.
Intelligent Transportation Systems – News & Research
Redefining commercial Vehicle Permitting and Credentialing Violations SPR 14-489 – ITS
Although conviction rates for commercial vehicle violations are on the decline in Kentucky, data shows inconsistencies in adjudication of common offenses from district to district. Across the state, cases are being dismissed at an increasing rate, which results in a drop of court costs, but also a decrease in fines paid by commercial vehicle carriers and drivers. KTC analyzed violations of the International Fuel Tax Agreement and the Kentucky Intrastate Tax, the weight-distance tax, Unified Carrier Registration, size and weight laws, and federal regulations. Officials from Kentucky and 3 other southeastern states were surveyed to determine common commercial vehicle enforcement mechanisms and issues with current policies. The biggest challenges the state faces are a backlog of unresolved cases and the fact that the cost of enforcing commercial vehicles laws exceeds the revenue generated by citations.
KTC offered two policy alternatives to the current system, with the aim of creating a more equitable judicial process for motor carriers operating in Kentucky. The solutions are designed to help the Transportation Cabinet generate additional revenue from commercial vehicle enforcement. The first recommendation allows for only state court systems to preside over
commercial vehicle offenses. The second suggestion is to create an administrative panel at KYTC that has jurisdictional authority over commercial vehicle offenses. Because this panel would hear all cases, the judicial process will be more equitable and efficient, thus generating higher revenue. In addition, KTC recommended extending weigh station hours of operation, increasing conviction rates and/or fine amounts, establishing a task force to identify issues, and focusing on failure-to-appear cases.
Developing a Baseline for Customer Service in the Department of Vehicle Regulation
The Department of Vehicle Regulation (DVR) administers the state’s motor vehicle licensing program as well as state and federal regulations related to commercial vehicles. DVR staff interact with the public more than any other department at KYTC, and additionally, they must work with Circuit Court Clerks, Kentucky State Police, state district and circuit courts, the motor carrier industry, and many other governmental agencies. Through surveys and identification of responsibilities, KTC will identify a baseline for the level of service provided to customers at the DVR. The findings will allow the Cabinet to continually monitor DVR customer service and apply the results throughout all areas of KYTC.
Kentucky Automated Truck Screening (KATS) System
The first KATS system was deployed in Boone County on I-71 in 2010. This system utilizes optical character recognition technology to identify a commercial vehicle by its USDOT number on the side of the vehicle and the license plate on the front of the tractor. This data is checked against a screening database for commercial vehicles to identify any potential safety, credential, or licensing problems. This technology has helped to identify good candidates for inspection for the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Kentucky State Police. Data has shown that the use of this technology can improve safety by identifying problematic drivers and vehicles, leveling the playing field for all motor carriers, and increasing revenue collected through taxes and fees. As a result, Kentucky now has 14 of these systems across the State. The Center assists KYTC with the implementation and maintenance of these systems. KATS was recognized as ITS Midwest Project of the Year in 2014 and received the AASHTO President’s Award for Research in 2015.
Improving Overweight/Over-Dimensional Logistics and Truck Routing Procedures
Moving overweight or over-dimensional loads through Kentucky requires access to reliable data about bridge clearances, construction schedules, detour routes, weight limits, limited lane widths, bridge classifications, and local restrictions. Moving these loads safely and efficiently presents a challenge to the Division of Motor Carriers (DMC). No real-time data on OW/OD routes exists and the attempts to mine outmoded data to develop an automated routing system have failed. KTC examined Kentucky’s current permitting and routing processes, looked to other state’s best practices, and determined the relationship between crash rates and improper truck routing. The findings will improve the safety and economics of OW/OD logistics and will expand the information available for truck routing.
Best Practices for the Implementation of the REAL ID Act
At the time of this study, Kentucky was one of 33 states or jurisdictions that had not yet implemented the REAL ID act. By 2020, a person must carry a form of ID that meets Federal REAL ID standards or they cannot board an aircraft or visit a military base. KTC recommended implementation strategies, including a state security plan, centralized distribution of ID cards, and an online renewal system. Several KY Statutes will have to be amended to allow for changes in license renewal cycles, third party vendor distribution, and the resulting changes in license fees.
Intelligent Transportation Systems Faculty & Staff