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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: ITS/CVO Data Architecture
Project Researcher: Edward S. Fekpe, Battelle
Project Manager: Hal Rumpca
Research Period: 2/15/1999 - 9/15/1999
Cost: $75,000.00

Problem Statement: Multiple agencies are involved in the regulation of Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) in South Dakota. Complying with this fragmentary structure is costly and frustrating to motor carriers. Carriers provide the same information to more than one agency, and may have to interact with six different agencies in order to operate. For the state, maintaining a number of systems that operate independently, that do not extensively share data with one another, and that in some cases require that carriers provide the same information for different programs, is also costly and clearly not optimally effective. A critical need in implementing the ITS/CVO program is for strong support for the program from all the agencies and the integration and coordination of their software and hardware systems.

The Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) initiative is developing a technical infrastructure to link projects and information systems. The CVISN will enable the interchange of information electronically among agencies, motor carriers, and third-party service providers through the use of common standards and commercially available communications systems. The basic problem addressed by the CVISN is the inability of state agencies to share CVO data with other agencies in the same state and in other states. At the national level, new systems are being developed that will exchange data with the state systems; these systems must be identified and integrated into the data architecture developed for South Dakota.

In order for South Dakota to provide better service for motor carriers and develop better business practices and processes, we must first identify existing agency business areas and functions. Once these are identified, additional research will need to be completed to identify new or improved business practices and link our data architecture systems into tho s e currently being developed through the National CVISN initiative.

Findings: SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT The assessment of the current systems included identifying the hardware, software, mainframe and PC-based applications, external systems as well as linkages, and communication mechanisms that support CVO processes. The study team determined the adequacy of current systems to support CVO processes and identified any potential problems relating to CVISN systems deployment identified. These problems are expected to guide the improvement of the systems and also help identify and prioritize suitable CVISN elements to be deployed in South Dakota. It was noted that the current systems are generally adequate for performing CVO processes under the present conditions. Although there may be no problems with the current systems in supporting the various processes, the current systems may not have the functionality to support CVISN technology. Data exchange and transfer facilities among agencies are lacking. For some business areas and processes, a number of potential problems are identified in terms of CVISN deployment. For example, problems of interfacing, integrating, and data-sharing facilities among agencies involved with credentialing processes are identified. Roadside operations currently rely on the State Radio to access credential’s information on carriers, vehicles, and drivers, although poor radio reception in certain areas of the State makes it ineffective. Currently, PUC is the only business area that relies solely on PC-based applications for processing and issuing Single State Registration System (SSRS), interstate exempt and single-trip permits. In addition, PUC is not part of South Dakota’s Wide Area Network (WAN). It is therefore recommended that a first step in interfacing or integrating credentialing legacy systems is to include PUC as part of the WAN. Secondly, a number of agencies are currently upgrading their computer systems and software to be Y2K compliant. It is therefore important to conduct this upgrade consistently in all agencies to ensure compatibility. The study team identified the following problems in CVISN deployment: Many of the current operations are manual and oriented towards paper, which creates processing problems such as data error, handling and storage. Lack of connectivity among state agencies restricts integration which indicates potential replication of data and duplication of data collection efforts. Lack of connectivity to provide real-time access to data on vehicle registration and drivers for roadside enforcement operations. Limited electronic fund transfer (EFT) between carriers and state agencies and other jurisdictions. Non-uniformity in the databases and software used for different CVO functions by state agencies, raising issues of compatibility and interoperability. Applications do not include downloading/uploading functionality between mainframe and PC systems. Lack of network facilities for mobile sites in commercial driver licensing process. Some PC-based systems are stand alone, designed for very specific business functionality. Lack of systematic and consistent approach in maintaining readily accessible historical data for future use in electronic format. No automated links to state accounting systems. CVISN COMPATIBILITY CVISN architecture top-level design templates and equipment packages are used as templates to summarize the data gathered in the study. The purpose is to gauge current systems’ compatibility and to help identify areas of focus in developing and deploying CVISN systems. The following conclusions can be drawn: Top-level design templates. These templates reflect the major functions that support CVO in South Dakota and illustrate which functions currently exchange information. They also serve as starting points in developing operational scenarios and system interfaces. Credentials and Taxes Administration supporting the processing, update, and issuance of CVO credentials, supporting the collection, processing, and review of CVO fees and taxes. All processes under this functional area are currently performed in South Dakota except those that are electronic. This applies to each credential processed and issued for CVO in South Dakota (e.g., IRP, IFTA, SSRS, CDL, oversize/overweight [OS/OW] permits). There is no connectivity or interface for online access between roadside support functional area and the agencies. Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration, supporting the collection and review of CV safety data. Apart from compliance reviews, none of the activities under safety administration are currently carried out in South Dakota. Analysis of safety data is performed using national safety databases and programs such as Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) and Safety Status (SAFESTAT). There is no on-line connectivity between the credentials and taxes administration functional area and the management of safety data functional area. Commercial Vehicle Information Exchange, facilitating the exchange of snapshots and profiles containing safety and credentials information for drivers, carriers, and vehicles. This functionality is not currently available in South Dakota. Roadside Electronic Screening, supporting the screening and electronic clearance of vehicles. South Dakota does not have the facilities for roadside electronic screening. Roadside Safety Inspection, supporting automated safety inspections. The Inspection Selection Subsystem (ISS) algorithm is used for screening vehicles for inspection. Electronic processes that are currently performed include the use of ASPEN and ISS. Other processes are currently not performed in South Dakota. Roadside Weigh-In-Motion (WIM), weighs commercial vehicles at mainline speeds. WIM installations are currently not used in roadside operations in South Dakota. Citation and Accident Electronic Recording, supporting the recording of information related to citations or accidents. In South Dakota, accident record and citation processing are not currently electronic.

Research Objectives:
1  Develop data and process models to describe and document the current business areas and processes for agencies involved with the regulation of motor carriers operating in South Dakota.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project’s technical panel to review the project scope and work plan
2  Review and summarize literature pertinent to state and national database architectures and establish an information engineering methodology for documenting South Dakota’s motor carrier regulatory agencies’ information.
3  Working with the technical panel, identify contact persons and business areas in affected agencies including, but not limited to, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Department of Revenue (DOR), Department of Commerce and Regulation (DCR), Highway
4  Develop a process model that consists of process definitions as well as two different graphical representations of business processes: 1) a hierarchical decomposition diagram that breaks high level processes down into more detailed levels and 2) info
5  Develop a data model that consists of an entity relationship diagram (ERD) of the entities' information classes, definitions, and relationships. The ERD will be the basis for the more detailed logical database design.
6  Develop a process to organization matrix that maps processes to the organizational units that perform the process.
7  Develop a process/entity interaction matrix that can be used for scoping and sequencing application designs and implementation of projects.
8  Conduct a current systems assessment including hardware, software, and databases and identify opportunities for improvements through interviews and working group sessions with business experts and technical staffs.
9  Using CVISN templates, document the information developed in research tasks four through eight.
10  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, current systems assessment process model, findings, conclusions and recommendations.
11  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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