Transportation Technology Tournament

Overview

The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and the U.S. DOT ITS JPO's Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program are hosting a competition for students to work directly with public agencies to solve real-world transportation problems utilizing ITS and TSMO solutions.

This will be the competition's fifth year. The 2018 - 2021 tournaments featured extremely competitive teams with innovative solutions. More information on previous years is available via the menu on your left.

Student teams will assemble to work with a State or local DOT, MPO, or transit agency to define a transportation problem. After submitting an initial contest application identifying the team and the problem, students will work with academic advisors to learn about potential ITS and TSMO solutions via online training programs outlined below. Teams will then utilize their experience, education, and new coursework to develop a solution or suite of solutions to directly address the originally defined problem. Students will submit their solutions via a proposal. Finalist teams will develop a presentation and then participate in a live event at the ITE Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA from July 31-August 3, 2022. Teams will give a presentation in front of a panel of judges made up of leaders in the ITS and TSMO community. One team will then be selected as the 2022 Transportation Technology Tournament Winner.

Challenge Problems

Student teams and academic advisors are encouraged to work directly with local agencies to develop specific challenge problems. However, additional challenge problems can be selected from the below list: 

City of Nashville:

  1. Culbertson Road Safety Challenges – Culbertson Road is in Davidson County along Mill Creek. This is a narrow local road (at some points as narrow as 18ft) that is challenged with seasonal flooding, speeding traffic, and illegal dumping. The Nashville DOT is looking to address these issues with intermediate safety solutions and a long-term plan to convert the route to a greenway connection. This area is used frequently for cut through traffic. We are looking for innovative traffic calming strategies as well as technology-based solutions to improve safety for residents that live along this route.
  2. Nashville Vision Zero – Pedestrian Hit-And-Run Collisions – The city of Nashville is experiencing an increase in pedestrian hit-and-run collisions. On average, there are 84 pedestrian hit-and-run incidents in Nashville. The city is looking for innovative solutions to address hit-and-run collisions through the use of technology and education.
  3. Collection of near miss data to enhance traffic safety measures – The ability to collect near miss data on Nashville’s transportation system could greatly improve the ability for engineers at the Nashville DOT to become more proactive in deploying safety projects. While camera technology with machine vision capabilities can support the collection of data, the Nashville DOT currently has limited camera technology resources. We are in need of finding other avenues for the collection of near miss data.

District DOT: 

  1. Crash Data Reporting: The project team would provide value by automating the process of assigning a proper collision type based on the narrative descriptions using artificial intelligence approaches.
  2. Bikeshare Impact Tool: Using available data sources, develop a quantitative analysis tool for evaluating the impacts of new developments on the existing Capital Bikeshare network and develop justification to support DDOT-requested bikeshare stations as mitigation for new developments.
  3. Bus stop sidewalk connections – how roadway connectivity obstructs access to bus stops and potential improvements in connections. This can include bike lanes interacting with bus stops (such as at bike-pedestrian mixing platforms or floating bus stops alongside protected bicycle lanes), parked cars or pick-up/drop-off activity preventing buses from getting all the way to the curb, among others.
  4. Before and After Analysis – integrating evaluations into our project lifecycle, potentially by leveraging existing and new (big) data sources and other ongoing monitoring to understand the impacts of our projects.
  5. Overweight Vehicles –DDOT would like to better understand the damage that overweight vehicles cause to its roadway infrastructure and/or explore assess fee capture mechanisms that better reflect the cost of that damage.

Michigan DOT

  1. M-6 ITS Freeway Management (Grand Rapids): Analyze the network of ITS freeway management infrastructure along and around M-6 in Kent (and Ottawa) Counties. The M-6 freeway was opened in 2004 and has been increasing in AADT and development in and around the area over the years. There are currently 3 CCTV and 3 DMS along the 20 miles of M-6 but that does not provide complete coverage for incident management, traffic condition monitoring, and information. In 2019, there were 304 total crashes reported along the entire M-6 route, of which the WMTOC recorded incident information in ATMS for 41 crashes for a crash awareness rate of 13%.
  2. MDOT Metro Region (Metro Detroit) Wrong Way Driver (WWD Technology): Analyze the expansion of WWD technology deployments along I-96, M-10 and I-75 in downtown Detroit.  The focus for the Metro Region has been the downtown Detroit area as the data indicates that this area has the highest concentration of crashes. Wrong Way Driver incidents are often tragic and although crashes happen infrequently, reports of WWD are frequent. This proactive measure at ramps will provide additional notice to the drive to self-correct, and provide almost immediate notification to MDOT Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center (SEMTOC) if they continue down the ramp which will reduce the time before law enforcement is in route.
  3. MDOT Superior Region (Michigan Upper Peninsula) Portable Changeable Message Sign (PCMS) Stations for Emergency Response: Analyze locations of PCMS stations at strategic locations along trunkline, to be utilized by MDOT Region staff during emergency events. During the winter months, when road closures due to weather and/or crashes are far more common, law enforcement personnel are often responding to other incidents due to stormy conditions, and MDOT personnel are engaged in maintenance efforts to clear the roads. These devices would be able to be controlled remotely to provide advisory/safety messages for motorists that would otherwise travel along an eventually-closed route without a viable detour.

2022 Timeline

Below is an outline of the steps and process of the 2022 Transportation Technology Tournament

March 10: Informational Webinar on the Tournament

In advance of the sign-up and challenge problem selection, we'll hold a webinar to inform prospective teams and participants about the tournament processes, expected levels of effort, and to highlight all the benefits experienced by students (and agencies) in participating in the tournament. 

Register for the webinar here: https://transportationops.org/event/why-you-should-join-transportation-t...

Looking for detailed information now? Last year's webinar for participants is available here. Slides are available here

    March 13, 2022: Sign-up and Challenge Problem Selection

    Sign-up with your team information via the online form to join the Transportation Technology Tournament. Teams should be 5 students with at least 2 students under the age of 26. All students should hail from US-based universities, but teams are allowed to be built from multiple colleges and universities.

    After signing up you'll be asked for more information on your team: 

    • List of team members, including age and degree being pursued.
    • For each team member: One-page resume (like a private consulting firm would do when they submit a bid for a project – to show they have qualified staff) and headshot photo.
    • Formal selection of the problem. (Note: teams can submit a problem statement from their own State DOT or other public agency, and receive input and/or approval by the competition organizers.)
    • Signed waivers that allow the USDOT, NOCoE, and ITS America to use/reuse/publish photos, images, presentations, etc. in printed materials and on websites.
    • A statement of team dynamics and methodologies: how frequently they intend to meet, how they intend to take trainings, what the roles & responsibilities of each team member are, etc.

    April 10, 2022: Interim Check-In #1: Training, Part 1

    Teams will submit a packet demonstrating their completion of the following ITS PCB courses. Each member will be asked to watch trainings and submit forms. The forms can be found here. Please submit here

    In addition to required trainings, we strongly recommend students learn about the National ITS Architecture to help inform their solutions and designs.  For more information, please visit:

    The packet will include proof of completion for each course from each team member. Submission instructions will be provided during the kick-off webinar.

    The interim check-in #1 is due by Sunday,  April 10, 2022. Please submit the requested forms here.

    May 8, 2022: Interim Check-In #2: Training, Part 2

    Academic or industry advisors were also responsible for teaching students Con-Ops and ITS Civil Engineering Design. Advisors led the team through the following ITS Case Study Courses, found on the ITS JPO Professional Capacity Building Program:

    • ITS Case Study Course: Con-Ops (submission – course deliverable)

    • ITS Case Study Course: Civil Engineering Design (submission – course deliverable)

    We are asking each member of each team to take these courses and fill out this form demonstrating their completion of the above ITS Case Study Courses.

    Interim check-in #2 is due by Sunday, May 8, 2022. Each member of each team must submit their packet here

    June 5, 2022: Solution Definition and High-Level Con-Op

    Teams will submit a 10-page packet describing their solution. The packet will include:

    • Description of problem
      • Scoping the dynamics of the site and the problem, identifying requirements for solution, identifying stakeholders, etc.
    • Description of solution
      • How this could address the problem
      • Who the players are within that solution
    • Con-ops for solution, including:
      • High-level functional architecture
      • High-level physical architecture
      • High-level enterprise architecture
    • An estimate for the work needed to develop and implement the solution including:
      • Cost breakdown
      • Timeline
    • Anticipated impacts
      • Operational benefits
      • Safety benefits
      • Mobility benefits
      • Environmental benefits
      • Other benefits and risks

    Judges panel will review the submissions and select  finalists teams.

    The final solutions document is due Sunday, June 5, 2022. A dropbox file request will be shared with teams ahead of the deadline.

    Finalist teams will be announced within two weeks of submission. 

    July 2022: Finalist Presentation Practice Runs

    Finalists will be asked to give at least two practice presentations ahead of the live competition and receive feedback from the organizing committee. These presentations will be set up individually with finalist teams. 

    August 1-3, 2022: Live Competition at ITE Annual Meeting

    Finalist teams will compete at a live event at the 2022 ITE Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

    Students will have 10 minutes to present to a panel of judges and a live audience and face a question and answer session from the judges. The tournament winner will be announced during an event at the ITE Annual Meeting. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Adam Hopps with the National Operations Center of Excellence.