This report documents results of a project to design and develop a real-time, advanced traveler information system (now called Traffic Reporter) for the Puget Sound area. In previous work, we had identified four types of commuters: (1) Pre-trip Changers, (2) Route Changers, (3) Route & Time Changers, and (4) Non-changers. Each type of commuter showed distinct preferences and needs for design and delivery of traveler information. In this project, we confirmed that the commuter types identified earlier, as well as their preferences for design and delivery of traveler information, were consistent across geographical areas in the Puget Sound area.
Based on this knowledge of commuter behavior and information needs, we designed and began implementing Traffic Reporter, a PC-based, graphical, interactive, advanced traveler information system. The Traffic Reporter prototype receives traffic data from freeway detectors and converts those data into information that can be explored both for general freeway conditions and specific trip information. Information is designed for use by commuters, traffic reporters, and traffic engineers.
We conducted usability tests on the Traffic Reporter prototype to ensure its effectiveness and ease of use. Overall, these tests showed that the prototype is easy to use and will be accepted by commuters. Future development of Traffic Reporter will be guided by the results of these tests. Furthermore, we will continue usability testing on future versions of Traffic Reporter.