Emerging Technologies for Transportation and Public Safety
Transportation Safety Advancement Group Activities
From its inception as the Public Safety Advisory Group in the early 2000s, the purpose of the Transportation Safety Advancement Group (TSAG) was to gain insight and knowledge of transportation safety needs and how to address them through proven and emerging technologies. Through a dedicated group of volunteer transportation and public safety professionals, TSAG served as an advocate for employing public safety technologies to address national transportation safety challenge. Through pursuit of its charter to inform the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office on intelligent transportation systems and advanced technologies, TSAG supported the ITS Joint Program Office mission. In 2021, ITS JPO suspended TSAG as a formal group but continues to seek stakeholder input into its strategic direction through active public safety industry participation through other efforts.
TSAG identified and promoted surface-transportation-based technologies and applications, supported a national dialogue to improve the safety of emergency responders and the public through technology, and supported the ITS JPO mission. TSAG’s stated vision, mission and strategic direction to guide its work were:
Vision – Public and responder safety that is fully integrated and enabled through the use of transportation technology.
Mission – In concert with the US Department of Transportation ITS Joint Program Office, TSAG identifies and promotes transportation related technologies that improve the safety of responders and the public.
Strategic Direction – TSAG, through its special projects, work plan, and outreach activities, promotes technologies and best practices that minimize transportation incident impacts and support safe and efficient emergency response and management through interdisciplinary and inter-agency communications and coordination.
Principles – The strategic direction was shaped by three core approaches to the work of the group:
Public Safety Through Technology– The advancement of proven and emerging technologies for traveler safety and for the safety of emergency responders remains a TSAG priority as these technologies and broader Intelligent Transportation Systems are deployed along our nation’s multi-modal transportation networks.
Public Safety Through Strategic Alliances– Strategic alliances, partnerships, and institutional frameworks that serve to advance transportation safety and mobility through technology are encouraged and will be promoted through TSAG support of relevant public policy, technology research, and competitive and open technology markets.
Public Safety Through Knowledge Transfer– TSAG will advance traveler and emergency responder safety through forums that share knowledge, promote awareness, and exchange experiences – all employed to create a national awareness of, and connection to, transportation and public safety goals and achievements.
Communities of Interest
TSAG was comprised of nine different communities of interest involved in advancing transportation safety in emergency response. These communities of interest represented a broad cross section of related disciplines. The following is a list of the TSAG communities of interest.
Academic + Research – Play key roles in research, education, and evaluation of transportation technologies, as well as performance measurement of technology applications and systems operations.
Emergency Communications – Serve as the primary communication link for the public to obtain assistance from public safety professionals, and manage the technologies, data, interoperability issues, and communications frequencies utilized for incident response and
Emergency Management – Address coordinated response to unplanned events or catastrophic incidents through multi- agency communications and multidiscipline/multilevel management strategies.
Emergency Medical Services – Represent the front line of on-scene assessment, medical treatment, and evacuation of victims in life threatening circumstances from incident sites to emergency department settings.
Fire + Rescue – Serve fire-suppression needs, hazardous materials handling, victim rescue/extraction, and incident scene management operations support.
Law Enforcement – Serve as the first line authority in incident response and management including incident scene management and protection, and incident evidence preservation.
Technology & Telematics – Provide multi-level technology applications for transportation operations and for interfacing between drivers, vehicles, and infrastructures, through communications and integrated systems.
Transportation Operations – Oversee day-to-day surveillance, control, and management of transportation systems and multimodal networks through inter-agency and inter-discipline communication and coordination.
Governing Agencies – Responsible for ensuring safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation systems for the travelling public.
TSAG considered timely topics to advance the safety of travelers and the public safety responders who serve them. TSAG developed a number of documents and webinars to share their findings on these topics. They also presented findings at conferences and through their individual organizations.
The most current TSAG projects are described briefly here with links to the related products.
Roadmap for Advancing TSAG Recommendations: This report was developed in July 2021 to document TSAG findings and recommendations to ITS JPO to support their commitment to identifying and advancing technologies that enhance the safety of public safety responders and the traveling public. Also developed in 2021 is the TSAG Annual Public Safety Research Assessment and Knowledge Transfer Report, which summarized recent research and publications related to improving the safety of responders and the TSAG projects outlined in the roadmap document.
TMC – PSAP Interoperability: Real-time information sharing and interoperability between traffic management centers (TMC) and public safety answering points (PSAP) provide enhanced incident detection, notification, response, inter-agency coordination, and situational awareness. This project looked at current practices in several agencies that have implemented TMC-PSAP integration, examined institutional issues, and documented experiences.
CV and AV Needs Specific to Emergency Response: This project looked at the challenges and opportunities of connected vehicles and automated vehicles to emergency response and public safety. It included a survey of the TSAG communities of interest and a review of work to date on identifying public safety responder needs and areas for additional research and collaboration.
Advanced Automated Collision Notification (AACN): AACN provides life-saving information by reducing the time required for detection, notification and response to an incident. It can also enhance patient care through provision of real time patient information. This project looked at existing and future AACN applications and research to support the advancement of AACN and the opportunity to improve patient outcomes.
I2R Future Opportunities: Infrastructure-to-responder (I2R) technologies include responder-centric and vehicle-based applications that improve real-time situational awareness using information available through the emerging digital infrastructure. This project examined future opportunities for responder communication to improve delivery of scene critical information and responder safety.
FirstNet, NG 9-1-1 and Connected Vehicles: TSAG examined the history of FirstNet, Next Generation 9-1-1, and connected vehicles to provide an overall picture of where these technologies are to date and what the near future holds.
Connected Responder: This project developed a comprehensive business case to educate, engage, and inspire the responder community to leverage the full potential of Connected Vehicle technologies.
Earlier projects completed by TSAG include focused on the subjects of emergency vehicle operator on-board device distractions, technologies that protect and support incidents and emergency responders, and prior work on NextGen 9-1-1 as well as a case studies workshop series and emergency response demonstrations.