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Traffic Engineering and Operations Office

SunGuide® Overview

Overview Video (duration 52 mins) Presentation
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This overview was presented at the TMC Pooled Fund Study Webinar on February 29, 2012.
To access the webinars questions and answers (Q&A), click here.

Sunguide Brochure (SunGuide® Software Brochure PDF Download PDF Reader Installer 3.38 MB)
Final Version - 4/2014

SunGuide® Software in the Making

In November 2001, the combined Florida and Michigan Departments of Transportation (DOT) Transportation Management Center (TMC) Software Study recommended development of Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) SunGuide® Software. Development of the software started in October 2003, after an Invitation to Negotiate process was completed. This software enables Florida TMCs to integrate numerous hardware, software, and network applications as well as exchange data with other TMCs. Because SunGuide® standardizes common TMC functions, it helps the various FDOT District facilities become more interoperable so their systems operate better together. The SunGuide® Software initially, and continually, leverages Texas DOT's original software investment, reducing Florida's costs.

SunGuide® Software is based on an open architecture and enables users to manage multiple subsystems. For example, TMC operators can use the software to perform incident management tasks, obtain data from vehicle detection systems, display videos from roadside cameras, and alert motorists with messages on dynamic message signs and highway advisory radio, or by using the Florida 511 (FL511) advanced traveler information system.

What is SunGuide® Software?

SunGuide® Software is an advanced traffic management system (ATMS) software that allows FDOT to control and monitor roadside equipment and vehicle resources to:

  • Facilitate traffic and incident management,
  • Disseminate traveler information to the motoring public,
  • Exchange critical information among agencies, and
  • Collect and report data regarding the operation of Florida's transportation system.

Florida's TMCs require software that enables real-time, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week operation of the transportation system. TMCs perform thousands of actions every day that are not possible without comprehensive software.

Key Features

  • Allows TMC operators to monitor roadside sensors and closed-circuit television cameras to quickly and effectively detect, verify, respond to, and clear incidents
  • Provides real-time traffic information to the FL511 phone system and website at www.fl511.com
  • Standardizes data exchange between TMCs
  • Automates interface with the Florida Highway Patrol's computer-aided dispatch system to receive incident information
  • Uses an open architecture making it easy to add new features
  • Complies with state and national standards, lowering costs and risks
  • Communicates with Road Ranger service patrol field computers
  • Supports 95 Express Lane dynamic pricing
  • Supports law enforcement with dissemination of AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response), SILVER, and Florida's LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) alerts via dynamic message signs and FL511
  • Communicates with connected vehicle roadside infrastructure to receive traffic information and disseminate traffic advisory messages

Devices Supported by SunGuide® Software

SunGuide® Software supports various devices, including:

  • Dynamic message signs
  • Variable speed limit signs
  • Toll message signs (toll rate signs, lane status signs)
  • Ramp signals
  • Road weather Information Sensors
  • Highway advisory radios
  • Safety barrier cable system
  • Closed-circuit television cameras
  • Road sensors/detectors
  • Video wall
  • Toll equipment (license plate readers and automatic vehicle identification devices)
  • Connected vehicle roadside infrastructure equipment

What are the Benefits

The total cost to date for design, development, integration, and support of the SunGuide® Software is approximately $18 million. Florida has 15 TMCs using the software, including FDOT Districts, toll authorities, and local agencies.

Benefits include:

  • Highly modular software design with easily expandable environment and high degree of supportability with evolving technologies
  • Lower risk through the use of state and national standards (e.g. National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol)
  • Uniform statewide performance measures
  • Lower software maintenance cost compared to maintenance of individual TMC software products
  • Less software training required due to use of common training materials; provides more qualified operations and maintenance personnel.

SunGuide® Software Development Process

Systems engineering principles and methods are a significant part in the development process of SunGuide® Software, providing a sound, reliable ATMS that meets various user needs and is completed within schedule and under the budget. FDOT applied system engineering applied throughout the SunGuide® Software development life cycle. Following the V diagram outlined in the Florida System Engineering Management Plan, each software release has gone through rigorous phases from Conception, Requirement Analysis, Design, Implementation, to Integration and Testing, System Acceptance, Operation, and Maintenance.

SunGuide® Software Milestones

Release Key Features Release Year
1.x Initial release with basic ATMS functionalities, such as closed-circuit television camera, dynamic message signs, incident management, message attribution system, traffic sensor system, travel time, video switching, and video wall 2005
2.x Added new subsystems: ramp metering, road weather information sensors, highway advisory radio, safety barrier cable systems, inventory and maintenance, emergency evacuation, and center-to-center plug-in 2005-2006
3.x Enhanced previous release's features and added new subsystems: 511, automated vehicle location/Road Ranger, event management, reporting, variable speed limit, and express lanes 2007-2008
4.x Enhanced travel time, Florida Highway Patrol/computer-aided dispatch, automated vehicle location/Road Ranger, and express lanes 2008-2009
5.x Enhanced operator map, INRIX® integration, smart phone application for Road Rangers, and connected vehicle integration 2010-2011

SunGuide® Software Deployments

Deployment Year SunGuide® Software Users
2005 Jacksonville Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC) (District 2), Fort Lauderdale RTMC (District 4), Miami RTMC (District 6)
2006 Traffic Engineering Research Laboratory (Tallahassee, Central Office), Orlando RTMC (District 5), Tampa RTMC (District 7)
2007 Miami-Dade Expressway Authority
2008 City of Tallahassee (District 3)
2009 Fort Myers RTMC (District 1), Palm Beach RTMC (District 4), Turkey Lake RTMC (Florida's Turnpike Enterprise), Pompano RTMC (Florida's Turnpike Enterprise), I-595 Express LLC TMC (District 4)
2010 Lee County TMC
2011 Pensacola RTMC (District 3), Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority

For additional information, please contact Derek Vollmer at Derek.Vollmer@dot.state.fl.us or visit the project website http://www.SunGuideSoftware.com.