Regional Archive Data System (RADS)

When the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) National Architecture was being developed in the mid-1990s, it identified the need to archive the large quantity of data produced by various ITS systems for transportation planning and performance monitoring purposes, namely Regional User Data Services (RUDS). As ITS was deployed in more jurisdictions, AZTech spearheaded the effort to define and develop a system that could effectively serve as a repository of essential ITS operational data from participating jurisdictions. This system also needed to provide data processing capability in order to generate new sharable information, as well as create new features to support regional transportation operations.

The concepts behind the Regional Archive Data System (RADS) are:

  • To serve as a data repository system that could facilitate the growth of the regional ITS;
  • To employ data processing engines that analyze existing data to create new information; and
  • To provide new services to the transportation operators and the traveling public.

Since its inception in 2003, RADS has incrementally implemented functions in three additional major areas:

  • Provision of dynamic travel time advisory information using freeway management system sensor data via freeway Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), flat screen displays, and AZ511 web site (RADS FMS/C2C);
  • Integration of public safety-related incident data in transportation management (RADS EMS/C2C);
  • Distribution of traffic signal timing information in support of arterial street signal timing coordination across jurisdictional boundaries (RADS TMS/C2C).

It is important to note that RADS was developed based on other regional ITS technology building blocks endorsed by AZTech. Specifically, the design of the data format exchange between RADS and the individual ITS systems is in compliance with data message standards of respective applications defined in the National ITS Standards. The communication protocols are based on the Center-to-Center (C2C) standards using Extensible Markup Language (XML) adopted by the National ITS Standards. These design decisions played a key role in the successful development of a non-proprietary and interoperable regional system.

The development of RADS was an incremental effort that grew as more ITS systems deployed and regional needs were identified in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. The development process involved extensive coordination with participating jurisdictions that assisted by identifying ITS data elements of interest, acquisition methods, and preferred user functions. The technical implementation of RADS followed the National ITS system engineering framework that guided the system integration and the development cycle.

To date, services provided by RADS benefit both transportation professionals and the general public in the Phoenix Metropolitan area in many ways. Commuters are able to access information about freeway travel time on the Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), flat screen display panels at public locations, and websites for improved decision making. Transportation operators are better informed with real-time access to traffic-impeding public safety events as they happen. Traffic signals at jurisdictional boundaries are better timed as the signal timing information from neighboring traffic signal management systems are shared through the RADS.

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