Transportation Technology Tournament

Overview

The National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and the U.S. DOT ITS JPO 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.

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 ITE 2019 in Austin, TX. Travel, lodging, and registration fees will be funded by the tournament organizers. At ITE, 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 2019 Transportation Technology Tournament Winner.

The 2018 Tournament featured nine teams, four of whom were chosen as finalists to compete in the live event at the ITE 2018 Annual Meeting. More information on that event, the teams, and their materials is available here.

Entering the Tournament

Teams will submit an initial application which includes:

  • List of team members, including age and degree being pursued. Teams are 4 members minimum, 6 members maximum, preferred to have at least 1 non-civil engineer (ex. planner, electrical engineer, computer science engineer, statistician, etc.) and at least 2 team members younger than 26 years old. 
  • For each team member: One-page resume (like a private consulting firm does when they submit a bid for a project – to show they have qualified staff) and headshot photo.
  • Formal selection of the problem. (See the Selecting a Problem section for more detail on this.)
  • 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.

Applications to join the tournament must be submitted via the online form no later than Friday, February 8 at 11:59 ET.

Selecting a Problem

Teams have two choices in identifying a problem:

  • Work with a state, regional or local agency to identify a transportation problem requiring an ITS or TSMO solution
  • Select from the list of challenge problems provided by specific agencies for this tournament, as seen below.

Current available challenge problems are below. There is a limit of 2 teams per problem on a first-come-first-served basis and those that have been chosen already are indicated below.

Michigan DOT:

1. Congestion mitigation, safety and mobility improvements along M-44 from M-11 to Knapp Street.

2. Traffic flow improvements along northbound US-131 M-6 to Post Drive

3. Corridor management in I-75/I-696 Influence Area

District DOT:

4. Mobility as a Service/Urban Mobility Wallet Framework: With the increase in new mobility services, new opportunities exist to better manage public and private transportation providers together and leverage their respective strengths to maximize their potential. Whether using scooters, bikeshare, transit, carshare, or TNCs, cities want to create a seamless, multimodal travel experience for residents while encouraging connections to transit and more sustainable modes.

5. 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.   

6. Urban Arterial Metering and Congestion Pricing

7. Curbside management

8. 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.

Tennessee DOT:

9. I-26 Corridor Management, Johnson City to Kingsport

10. Nashville mobility challenge, first and last mile solutions in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities

11. High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Violations in Nashville & Memphis. In 2018 a report conducted by Vanderbilt and TSU showed an average HOV violation rate of 88% in Tennessee.

12. Nashville Downtown Interloop Traffic Operation Improvements. The Nashville Interloop experiences a high level of congestion due to weaving traffic.

13. Rural ITS Solutions for I-40 at Rockwood Mountain and I-75 at Jellico Mountain. This areas experiences high crash rates due to weather and grade conditions. This area also experiences rockslides.

14. Truck Parking Shortages in Tennessee

15. Work Zone Traffic Control Improvements on Highway Bridgework Projects – Off-tracking issues in lane shifts with limited pavement widths.

Your University:

16. How are new mobility choices affecting the transportation system on your university or college? Analyze TNC trips, micromobility choices, and ongoing transit options and provide a set of solutions to leverage these choices help address congestion, safety, or equity challenges on your campus.

If you're an agency who'd like to provide a challenge problem and work with students, please contact Adam Hopps at ahopps@transportationops.org. An overview of what we're looking for in challenge problems can be found here.

Timeline and Instructions (Click headline to open)

February 8, 2019: Submit Application

Teams will submit an initial application, which included:

  • List of team members, including age and degree being pursued. Teams are 4 members minimum, 6 members maximum, preferred to have at least 1 non-civil engineer (ex. planner, electrical engineer, computer science engineer, statistician, etc.) and at least 2 team members younger than 26 years old. 
  • For each team member: One-page resume (like a private consulting firm does when they submit a bid for a project – to show they have qualified staff) and headshot photo.
  • Formal selection of the problem. (See the Selecting a Problem section for more detail on this.)
  • 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.

February 12, 2019: Kick-off Webinar Informational Session

The Kick-off Webinar is an opportunity for your entire team to say hello to tournament organizers, meet fellow competitors, and get more detailed information on the coming months ahead.

A recording of the 2018 Tournament webinar is available here.

March 8, 2019: Interim Check-In #1: Training, Part 1

Teams will submit a packet demonstrating their completion of the following ITS PCB courses:

The packet shall include certificates of completion for each course (if applicable) and a response form that will be provided.

March 29, 2019: Interim Check-In #2: Training, Part 2

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

Teams will submit a packet demonstrating their completion of each course. The packet shall include certificates of completion for each course (if available) and a response form that will be provided.

April 30, 2019: Submission of Solution Definition and High-Level Con-Op

Teams will submit a 10-page packet describing their solution. The tournament organizers will provide a template for the packet. 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

The judges panel will review the submissions and select finalist teams that will present their solutions live at ITE in Austin, TX. The judges will provide feedback to finalists in order to strengthen their pitch at ITE. The judges panel is composed of ITS and TSMO experts representing a variety of agencies and organizations.

June 2019: Online Presentations from Finalist Teams

Teams chosen as finalists will be asked to make a six-minute pitch on their solutions via webinar. Judges will provide additional feedback to the finalists to improve their presentations prior to ITE. This date will be set in 2019 and the webinar will be recorded and archived. A recording of the four finalists presentations from 2018  is available here.

July 21 - 24, 2019: Live Competition

Finalist teams will be provided travel funds to attend a live competition at ITE 2019 in Austin, TX.  Students will present to judges and a live audience. Each team will have ten minutes to present. There will be five minutes of Q&A with the judges following each presentation. Presentations will be recorded. Judges will deliberate following the event.  The winning team will be announced at the Closing Plenary of the ITE Annual Meeting. Competition organizers are taking steps to ensure that individuals wishing to participate in both the TTT and the Traffic Bowl will be able to do so without conflict.

CONTACT

Please feel free to contact Adam Hopps via email or phone (202-680-0091) with any questions.