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Traffic Information Dissemination Media

By: Haseeb Jamal / On: May 04, 2017 / Traffic Engineering, Types of
Traffic Information Dissemination Media

Media matched to message type, length and timing

  • TV (full time versus conventional news cast)
    • Easy access to traffic hotspots on UW2.TV
    • Channel 76 on digital cable
    • Low cost to public (user)
    • Higher cost to disseminator
    • Short duration message
    • Misses details, some geographic areas
    • Only for pre-trip information
    • Generally not available on  demand
  • Radio
    • Low cost to public (user)
    • Short duration message
    • Misses details, some geographic areas
    • Pre-trip or en-route information
    • Generally not available on demand
    • Timeliness/accuracy of reports often questioned
  • Variable/changeable message sign (VMS / CMS)
    • Good for en-route information
    • Only at locations where they can be seen (geographically constrained)
    • Short duration message
    • Messages need to be current or will be ignored
    • Location is important
    • Prior to decision point
  • Highway Advisory Radio (HAR)
    • Limited power/range makes this a en-route technology
    • Longer message about a specific geographic area
    • Can you keep the message up to date?
    • Questions about how many people will turn their radios to the proper channel
  • Web
    • Pre-trip information (becoming en-route with wireless web)
    • Ability to provide very detailed, very specific information (if that information is available)
    • Wide geographic area coverage is possible
    • Allows interaction with the customer
    • Not everyone has an internet connection (social equity?)
    • How accessible is it at home?
  • Specialty devices (route guidance devices)

Other media

  • E-mail
    • Pre-trip information delivery
    • Can be tuned to specific routes / times
    • Requires timely e-mail delivery
    • Useful for “routine” trips
    • Not useful for “unusual” trips
    • Requires e-mail to be accessible
    • Can provide extensive information (routing instructions)
  • Mail
    • Pre-trip Information
    • Wide geographic area
    • Wide variety of information
    • Relatively low cost
    • Not real time
    • Does it get read?
  • Telephone (hotline – cell phone / conventional phone)
    • Automated system allows user to pick and choose information desired
    • Hard to develop such a system
    • Can user access phone line when information is needed and is wanted?
    • 511
  • Kiosks
    • Good stand-alone application
    • Hard to keep operational (high upkeep cost)
    • Requires connection to the data source
    • Allows information display in locations devoid of electronics
    • Accessible to all
    • Multi-function kiosk? (something besides transportation information)

Attributes of Dissemination technologies

    • Availability to the public
    • Timeliness
    • Geographic coverage of message
    • Length of message
    • Cost to produce message
    • Cost to operate / maintain the delivery device
      • User cost
      • Producer cost
    • Who controls the device? (public / private)

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