Atlanta displays new traveler info system
A state-of-the-art information system designed to help travelers better negotiate Atlanta’s transportation network will be on display for four months, beginning June 1.
The Traveler Information Show, case, the product of a federal, state and local government and private sector partnership, will make real-time traffic, transit and parking information available throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area and much of Georgia through a specially designated cable TV channel and a web site on the Internet.
Volunteers will use hand-held computers with wireless links to the system, cars equipped with navigation and route guidance devices and interactive TV in hotel rooms to request and receive up-to-date information on road conditions, congestion, construction, transit schedules, electronic yellowish, route planning and Olympic and other local events.
Much of the hardware for the $14 million showcase will be based in the Georgia DOT’S Transportation Management Center, to be completed this spring in Atlanta. The $11 million center is one facet of the larger $140 million GDOT Advanced Transportation Management System that will collect traffic data, process and manipulate it and disseminate information to commuters and travelers throughout the state.
The raw data from which the showcase service providers will cull and package the information that is made available to the public will come from:
* more than 350 full pan, zoom and tilt closed circuit video cameras and fixed video cameras equipped with image processors — Autoscopes — displayed throughout the metro area;
* spotters in aircraft, helicopters, mobile units and slow scan cameras (Information will be updated every 15 minutes during rush hour and every 30 minutes during the rest of the day. ;
* radar sites throughout the region that measure traffic density and speed;
* mobile spotters on the roads; and
* 63 miles of fiber optic cable (Another 125 miles of fiber optic cable I be laid alone major arterials in the metropolitan area to link all of the components of the Transportation Management System and the showcase with the Transportation Management Center.).
GDOT will also place about 200 kiosks in visitor welcome centers, bus and subway stations, Hartsfield International Airport and other high-traffic public places throughout Atlanta and the state.
Two devices/platforms will be used during the showcase. The first, Fastline, San Francisco, is integrating its software with Motorola Envoy and a wireless data network. The pen,based Envoy runs on General Magic’s Magic Cap graphic operating system.
The second is Etak’s map database and electronic yellow page software, which is being integrated with Hewlett-Packard’s Palmtop computer and Skytel’s two-way paging network.
Users of both platforms will enter their queries for specific information into their hand,held devices, which will transmit the request to the fixed end server located in the Transportation Management Center.
Atlanta was chosen to host the Traveler Information Showcase because:
* From 1982 to 1992, congestion in the metropolitan area grew by 29 percent;
* The metro area’s population grew by 36 percent from 2.4 million to 3.3 million from 1983 to 1993; and
* During the summer of 1996, more than 2.5 million athletes, coaches, spectators and other visitors are expected to come to Atlanta for the Olympic Games and the Paralympics.
Following the 16-week demonstration, the showcase physical infrastructure, subsystems and services will remain in place, forming the basis for one of the most advanced traveler information systems in the world.
The showcase is a closely coordinated effort between the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, GDOT, the city of Atlanta and regional transit and transportation authorities.