Illinois Tollway Traffic Operations Center Creates Innovative Traffic Safety App
Illinois Tollway’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC) – which monitors approximately 1,400 closed-circuit cameras, 400 vehicle detection systems and approximately 300 miles of roadways – has created its own mobile-friendly web application, the TIMS2GO Mobile Incident Response, to give TOC traffic and incident managers the ability to gather real-time incident information and develop appropriate response plans.
The TIMS2GO app has been fully operational since late 2020, providing employees with instant access to live video, incident details and response status updates. Staff can communicate quickly and easily with first responders and highway maintenance personnel, giving them the information they need to familiarize themselves with an incident and mitigate additional safety risks before they arrive on the scene. places.
For example, when a large truck overturned on the road, traffic and incident managers were able to point cameras at the scene to zoom in on the signs on the truck, allowing them to ensure that the truck did not did not transport hazardous materials.
The same camera technology allows personnel to zoom out and pan to check the surrounding area of an incident. If managers notice additional hazards or debris, they can notify responders in advance. Instant information also tells managers which response vehicles have arrived and what progress has been made. As new details become known, this information can be immediately added to the app.
With the information and accessibility provided by TIMS2GO, the agency can better serve the public. The need for lane closures and diversions can be communicated clearly, and signs warning motorists of delays can be quickly updated.
TOC reached out to partners to help design TIMS2GO, which was designed specifically for the Illinois Turnpike, but any transportation agency that operates a traffic operations center and uses active management system software traffic can achieve similar results. TIMS2GO integrates ready-to-use solutions such as video streaming platforms to simplify its operations.
When building the app, the staff took care to consider design elements that would benefit end users, such as limiting keystrokes and prioritizing readability and visibility. Agencies should also consider developing a scalable solution that can grow as an organization’s needs change.