AII Solicitation

Why AII?

Accelerate the adoption of your proven innovation nationwide with the assistance of AASHTO’s Innovation Initiative program.
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More about AII and its Technology Solicitation

AASHTO's Innovation Initiative - logo

Accelerate the adoption of your proven innovation nationwide with the assistance of AASHTO’s Innovation Initiative (AII) program. AII awards national recognition and the resources to lead other agencies in adopting your proven innovation. Let your success help peers in other states skip red tape that can bog fresh ideas down. Lead your colleagues in delivering the advantages of your cutting edge work to their customers.

The Initiative is a peer-to-peer innovation advancement program. Innovators get the AASHTO "seal of approval" and resources to advance proven, leading edge practices into common use among transportation agencies. AII innovations work because they were developed, tested and successfully adopted by your peers. AASHTO organizes these innovators on teams and surrounds them with resources to help them help you deliver those innovations to your customers.

Sample Nomination

Below (and as a downloadable sample Word file [DOC]) is an example of a nomination that was selected as a Focus Technology a few years ago. This nomination example shows the information, level of detail, and completeness which the AII Executive Committee is looking for when they make their Focus Technology selections.

AASHTO Innovation Initiative
Nomination of Technology Ready for Implementation
Nominations Due by October 31, 2014

SponsorNominations must be submitted by an AASHTO member DOT willing to help promote the technology.1. Sponsoring State DOT: South Dakota
2. Name: David L. Huft
    Title: Research Program Manager
    Mailing Address: 700 East Broacway
    City: Pierre State: SDZip Code: 57501-2586
    E-mail: dave.huft@state.sd.usPhone: 605.773.3358Fax: 605.773.4713
3. Date Submitted: 09/09/2005
4. Is the Sponsoring State DOT willing to promote this technology to other states by participating on a Lead States Team supported by the AASHTO Technology Implementation Group?
Please check one:  Yes     No
Technology Description (10 points)The term "technology" may include processes, products, techniques, procedures, and practices.5. Name the technology: Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS)
6. Please describe the technology: MDSS is an interactive management support system that combines knowledge of existing pavement conditions, of current and forecast weather conditions, of physical and chemical behavior of pavement surfaces, of past maintenance treatments, and of available winter maintenance techniques and resources to recommend the most effective, route-specific winter maintenance treatments and timing. In addition, the MDSS allows users to do "what-if" analyses to see how alternative treatments and timings might perform. MDSS also provides a complete and integrated suite of weather observations—such as air and surface temperature, wind direction and velocity, precipitation rates and amounts, visible and infrared satellite imagery, and radar—and predictions that can be used for many purposes other than winter maintenance. Users interact with the MDSS via a powerful, geographically-based graphical user interface. The MDSS supports manual input of current pavement conditions and applied maintenance treatments, as well as automated input from trucks equipped with automatic vehicle location (AVL) and sensors for pavement condition, plow position, and material application.
7. If appropriate, please attach photographs, diagrams, or other images illustrating the appearance or functionality of the technology. (If electronic, please provide a separate file.) Please check one:   Yes, images are attached.     No images are attached.
State of  Development (30 points)Technologies must be successfully deployed in at least one State DOT. The TIG selection process will favor technologies that have advanced beyond the research stage, at least to the pilot deployment stage, and preferably into routine use.8. Please describe the history of the technology's development. MDSS began in 2000 as a cooperative initiative between the Federal Highway Administration and several federal laboratories—the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT/LL), the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL), and the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). The initiative developed a "Functional Prototype" that was successfully tested by the Iowa DOT in 2003. A group of eight states—South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming—and the Federal Highway Administration have worked since then to advance the MDSS from the prototype stage into a fully functional product. They have invested about $1 million to develop a capable, mature system that can be deployed on a statewide basis.
9. For how long and in approximately how many applications has your State DOT used this technology? The multi-state effort has produced Version 2 of the Pooled Fund MDSS, a full-functioned software release, for use during the winter of 2005-2006. Only minor corrections and refinements are anticipated prior to release of Version 3 in the spring of 2006. At that time, MDSS will be a commercially viable product that can be applied in any state concerned with winter maintenance.
10. What additional development is necessary to enable routine deployment of the technology? Current development activities concentrate on study and validation of technical and insitutational issues related to scaling up from a relatively small number of road segments to  wide-scale deployment on a regional or statewide basis. Topics of investigation include information technology infrastructure necessary to support statewide deployment, integration of geographic and attribute data for state highway networks, and integration with maintenance  management and traveler information systems. This work is to be completed by 2007.

 
11. Have other organizations used this technology? Please check one:  Yes     No If so, please list organizations and contacts.
OrganizationNamePhoneE-mail
North Dakota DOT Jerry Horner701.328.4443jhorner@state.nd.us
Minnesota DOT Curt Pape651.297.1798curt.pape@dot.state.mn.us
Iowa DOT Jim Dowd515.233.7753jim.dowd@dot.iowa.gov
Colorado DOT Ron Hall620.276.3241ron.hall@ksdot.org
Wyoming DOT Mark Wingate307.777.4056mark.wingate@dot.state.wy.us
Payoff Potential (30 points)Payoff is defined as the combination of broad applicability and significant benefit or advantage over other currently available technologies.12. How does the technology meet customer or stakeholder needs in your State DOT or other organizations that have used it? MDSS addresses the meeds of maintenance managers to make best use of winter maintenance resources (manpower, equipment, and materials) and to provide the most effective yet attainable response to winter weather. For maintenance workers, MDSS provides advice on approaching weather conditions and guidance on effective maintenance treatments and timings. For the DOT's primary customers, the traveling public, MDSS addresses the need for timely and effective winter highway maintenance.
13. What type and scale of benefits has your DOT realized from using this technology? Include cost savings, safety improvements, transportation efficiency or effectiveness, environmental benefits, or any other advantages over other existing technologies. Benefits that have been realized include: more proactive and effective winter maintenance strategies, resulting in improved traveler safety and customer satisfaction; reduced use of deicing chemicals, resulting in lower costs and less environmental impact; better allocation of personnel and equipment resources, resulting in lower operational costs. The potential value of the benefits is enormous. Reductions in winter maintenance material and operational costs of 10-15% appear very achievable. Use of MDSS in other seasons could also save costly construction problems arising from unexpected unfavorable weather.
14. Please describe the potential extent of implementation in terms of geography, organization type (including other branches of government and private industry) and size, or other relevant factors. How broadly might the technology be deployed? MDSS could be productively deployed at both the state and local (county and municipal) level in any of the states that experience snow, freezing rain, frost, or other winter conditions. Potential coverage includes not only the northern tier states, but also the states with higher elevations. MDSS could also be used by private contractors who provide winter maintenance services for state or local highway departments.
Market Readiness (30 points)The TIG selection process will favor technologies that can be adopted with a reasonable amount of effort and cost, commensurate with the payoff potential.15. What actions would another organization need to take to adopt this technology? To use this technology, other transportation agencies would need to acquire and install the MDSS software. They would also need to provide basic information about their highway segments, their winter maintenance practices, and available resources so the MDSS could recommend appropriate treatment strategies. Maintenance supervisors and crews would require training, which has also been developed in the MDSS pooled fund study. Finally, states would want to consider staged deployment of automatic vehicle location on their winter maintenance equipment, to ultimately realize the full benefit of MDSS.
16. What is the estimated cost, effort, and length of time required to deploy the technology in another organization? From the experience of the pooled fund states, it appears that staged deployment over a period of 2-4 years might be appropriate for most states. In the first year, MDSS would be acquired and set up for a number of pilot road segments. In the second year, MDSS would be expanded to larger geographical or organizational units (regions or districts). In the third year, statewide deployment could be targeted. Initial costs of software acquisition, installation, and configuration are estimated to be around $200-300K. Total deployment costs will depend upon the number of routes and maintenance units, and upon whether automatic vehicle location is used.
17. What resources—such as technical specifications, training materials, and user guides—are already available to assist deployment? Technical specifications, tutorials, and PowerPoint presentations are currently available. Comprehensive system documentation will be available by August 2007.
18. What organizations currently supply and provide technical support for the technology? The Maintenance Decision Support System developed in the pooled fund study is provided by Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc. of Grand Forks, ND. Other private entities also are working on similar systems based on the Functional Prototype MDSS, which is supplied by the Federal Highway Administration and the involved federal labs.
19. Please describe any legal, environmental, social, intellectual property, or other barriers that might affect ease of implementation. The only identified issue concerns ownership of the intellectual property developed in the pooled fund study. The pooled fund states, Meridian Environmental Technology, and the Federal Highway Administration are establishing a framework to: ensure the long-range technical viability of the MDSS product; provide equitable licensing terms to pooled fund participants as well as other transportation agencies; comply with federal regulations regarding assignment of intellectual property rights; and define an open software architecture that allows transportation agencies to bid and acquire MDSS components from multiple vendors. No legal, regulatory, or social risks have been identified during the course of this work.
     

Figure 1: MDSS Graphical User Interface showing winter storm conditions in Indiana

Figure 2: MDSS Graphical User Interface showing observed and predicted weather and road conditions
 
(ADDITIONAL IMAGES WERE ALSO ATTACHED)