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Network Gives Traffic Managers, Police Real-Time View of Road Conditions

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RITIS screen display

The RITIS system developed at the University of Maryland displays traffic information and data compiled instantly from dozens of sources.

Credit: University of Maryland

University of Maryland (UM) researchers have developed the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS), a system that gives traffic managers and police in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia a real-time view of road conditions.

RITIS uses police and highway crews to provide updates on accidents, construction, and highway incidents through a mobile communication system called CapWIN. "We bring together a lot of different data sources they don't necessarily have . . . and we push it into our Web site," says UM senior engineer Jason Ellison.

The recent snowstorms in the northeast U.S. provided a challenging test for RITIS. During the storms, the RITIS system received more than 1.2 million hits from 600 users in federal, state, and local emergency operations.

Data feeds are currently being developed to track area transit systems, and new three-dimensional visualizations are animated by real traffic data. Public safety officials in the field can monitor developing traffic incidents on RITIS using touch-screen laptops or handheld devices.

From The Baltimore Sun
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