Summer 2017 Edition 
ITS Michigan Quarterly Newsletter

There are lots of exciting things happening in the world of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in Michigan. The Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan (ITS Michigan) is your link to these activities. This quarterly newsletter will help you keep up to speed on what's happening in ITS in Michigan and learn about opportunities to network with others in the field.
Upcoming ITS Michigan Events

      ITS Michigan Annual Meeting

  • When: Tuesday, Sept. 27
  • Where: Stay tuned for details!
ITS Michigan Board elects president, officers for 2017-18
    At its regular meeting on May 24, the ITS Michigan Board of Directors elected new officers to serve for the coming year.      
    The new officers are:

President: Yousuf Taufiq, WSP USA
Vice President: Debby Bezzina, UMTRI
Treasurer: Steve Verkest, Integral Blue
Secretary: John Abraham, Macomb County Department of Roads
Here is an introduction to President Taufiq:

Yousuf Taufiq, P.E., is an Assistant Vice President and Manager of Michigan Traffic and ITS Engineering for WSP USA in Detroit, Michigan. WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms — WSP. 

Taufiq has more than a decade of engineering and management experience. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan - Dearborn and an executive MBA from Michigan State University. He is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. Taufiq leads the WSP ITS practice for the Michigan market, providing project management expertise to public sector clients such as Michigan DOT and county road agencies (Oakland, Macomb) to help improve safety, operations and mobility of the transportation system in Southeast Michigan.

Taufiq has served in both management and technical roles in a variety of ITS planning, design and construction support projects including freeway management systems, road weather information systems, connected vehicles, network engineering and arterial signal systems. He also leads the Traffic Engineering practice in Michigan, overseeing project management and technical staff and providing services such as traffic operations, traffic signal optimization, traffic simulation and operations analysis, maintenance of traffic plans, traffic impact analysis and transportation corridor studies.
Member Profile: Carrier & Gable Inc.
Primary contact:  Dan Carrier  

How long a member of ITS Michigan:  Since the inception of the Michigan Chapter.  

Type of organization (company, individual, public sector, academic):  Privately owned company. 

Primary product or service:  Traffic-control systems and devices, network communications systems and hardware and roadside devices (crash cushions and delineation).   

Reason you’re involved in the field of ITS:  Intelligent transportation is inherent to our business of traffic control and highway safety.  

What are your favorite benefits of ITS Michigan:  Networking with those who have similar interests, learning about new technologies and applications and being part of an organization that brings the roadside-safety industry together with the automotive industry.   

What excites you most about ITS and the future of the ITS industry?  The continuing evolution of transportation-safety ideas; being involved with the deployment and support of state-of-the-art technology as it relates to tying the road and the vehicle together.
May ITS Michigan Lunch and Learn focused US-23 Flex Route project

ITS Michigan conducted another successful Lunch and Learn webinar on May 2 featuring the US-23 Flex Route/Active Traffic Management project north of Ann Arbor.
Here's a summary of the information presented. The webinar was presented by Stephanie Palmer of MDOT and Karianne Steffen of HNTB.

The US-23 Flex Route is the first Active Traffic Management (ATM) project in Michigan.  The project extends from the western US-23/M-14 interchange to just south of M-36 (9 Mile Road) north of Ann Arbor.

The project will upgrade the median shoulders and install lane-control gantries along the corridor to allow the median shoulder to be used as third lane of travel during peak traffic conditions. The US-23 Flex Route utilizes overhead gantries equipped with various intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment to facilitate the following ATM strategies:
  • Dynamic Shoulder Use -- the use of the median shoulder as a third lane during peak travel periods, incidents, and/or other conditions as warranted during non-peak periods.
  • Dynamic Lane Control – the ability to dynamically close or open individual general purpose lanes as warranted and provide advance warning of closures to safely merge traffic into adjoining lanes.
  • Variable Speed Advisories -- the adjustment of speed advisories based on real-time traffic, roadway and/or weather conditions.
  • Queue Warning -- the real-time display of warning messages to alert motorists that queues or significant slowdowns are ahead.
  • Real-time Truck-Parking Information and Management System (TPIMS) – delivery of real-time truck-parking availability information to truck drivers along the US-23 Flex Route.
With the US-23 Flex Route being the first ATM project in Michigan, the project team faced several challenges during the planning and design phases, which included the following:
  • Gantry spacing and placement
  • Lane-control sign and dynamic-message sign standard messaging
  • Regulatory signing and pavement markings
  • Advanced Traffic-Management system software upgrade and integration
  • Safe dynamic-shoulder lane endings
  • Cost-effective power and communication considerations
  • Using existing devices in new ways
  March Traffic Incident Management workshop proved a hit with crowd       

Some 140 people from the traffic incident management (TIM) community gathered March 3 for the 12th annual Southeast Michigan Traffic Incident Management Partnering Workshop at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.                

The workshop focused on both the current state of TIM and the future of the field, including reviews of how TIM would be impacted by connected vehicles, the latest TIM technology and more. Presenters included Michigan State Police (MSP) Lt. Colonel Richard Arnold, MSP Lt. Michael Shaw, MDOT Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center Manager Dayo Akinyemi, Algoma Township firefighter and instructor Kymberly Pashkowsky, International Center for Automotive Medicine Crash Investigator Craig Shackelford and National Operations Center for Excellence Managing Director Patrick Son, among others.

The half-day workshop painted an exciting picture for audience members of what the TIM world could look like in the future while providing an opportunity for peer-to-peer discussions of current challenges. The event was organized by Dick Beaubien of Beaubien Engineering, MDOT, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and the Transportation Improvement Association. It was sponsored by Opticom and ITS Michigan.                                                                    
Some relevant news updates from the ITS world
    Army to test autonomous vehicles on I-69, Blue Water Bridge – Detroit Free Press’ This September and October, U.S. military-style vehicles will cross the Blue Water Bridge between Michigan and Ontario. The vehicles will be testing self-driving technology along the I-69 corridor for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). The tests will include “platooning” a line of vehicles in which the “leader” vehicle will be manually controlled while the others follow behind. The testing will also be used to evaluate technologies such as automated braking and throttle control as well as limited automated steering control.    

Lyft is working with a third party self-driving tech company – recode Recently, Lyft has jumpstarted its efforts in self-driving technology by teaming up with nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle startup company based in Boston and Singapore. Currently, they are focusing on research, leaving the passenger-experience technology and software development for later. In the next few months, they are looking to deploy a handful of test vehicles in Boston. Ultimately, they hope to partner with a big-name automaker, such as GM or Ford, to help produce “thousands” of vehicles for Lyft’s platform.  

Public assets could be sold under Trump road plan – The Detroit News Recently, President Trump released a new infrastructure plan that calls for private companies to invest in the construction of public assets, such as airports, bridges and highways. The proposal calls for federal spending of $200 billion over 10 years that would be used to “incentivize” up to $800 billion in private, state and local spending on infrastructure. It is speculated that “the privatization of public assets could lead to increased use of tolls and other mechanisms that will allow private companies to generate profits in exchange for financing projects.” However, Trump advisers have said that private companies may be more efficient at operating infrastructure. Many concerns from both Democratic and Republican representatives have been voiced, even as Trump calls for cooperation from both parties to help pass the plan.  

Self-driving cars should help pay to pave the way for the future – The Hill With autonomous technologies and the development in self-driving cars, the government must find new funding for infrastructure. Traditional funding sources, such as traffic fines, parking and registration revenues and gas taxes will crumble as vehicles are made safer, more efficient and less harmful to the environment. One solution could be to require the companies deploying the cars pay the government directly for the use of roadways, since they would know when, where and what distance their cars and trucks travel. Another solution might be to establish a base fee that would apply to vehicles where the automated system performs the entire driving task. In turn, this money could be used towards transportation investments to maintain, repair and upgrade existing infrastructure.
The President's Corner...
A few words from ITS Michigan's outgoing President Jim Santilli  
By Jim Santilli, ITS Michigan Immediate Past President And TIA Chief Executive Officer  
Note: Jim Santilli, CEO of the Transportation Improvement Association, served as ITS Michigan president for the 2016/2017 year. His term ended during the second quarter of 2017. This is his final column.

It has been my profound honor to serve the ITS Michigan members and partners as the president of the ITS Michigan Board of Directors for the last year, and I’d like to thank the Board for the opportunity.

I feel it has been very productive year, and I hope the membership and Board agree. I truly appreciate having had this opportunity, and I’m confident the organization will continue to move forward. In fact, I’m more excited than ever about the direction in which the organization is moving.

In part, that’s because the ITS Michigan Board of Directors is continuing the innovative transformation process that it began in 2015. This has included a number of exciting new initiatives including this newsletter as well as regular events such as lunch-and-learn webinars, quarterly meetings and the ITS Michigan annual meeting.

But I’m also excited about the new president, Yousuf Taufiq. I’d like to welcome Yousuf to this position.

As vice president, Yousuf was a critical part of ITS Michigan's success. He is an exceptional leader and has been an invaluable partner in developing a new vision for ITS Michigan's members.

I hold Yousuf in the highest esteem and have every confidence he will lead ITS Michigan to even higher levels of performance as the new president. I am looking forward to many more advances and developments during his tenure.
Newsletter comments or content? Contact:
Craig Bryson 
(248) 645 2000 
Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan (ITS Michigan)
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