The Intelligent Roadway Information System (IRIS) is an open source software package originally developed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), which allows users to view and control a variety of devices, including CCTV cameras, DMS, gate arms, traffic detectors, tolling systems, and flashing beacons. IRIS is the result of numerous iterations of direct feedback from system operators and offers an interface designed for efficient access to device functions and provides an exceptionally stable, intuitive solution for traffic management. State and local agencies, including MnDOT, Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), California DOT (Caltrans), Wyoming DOT (WYDOT), Kansas DOT (KDOT), City of Bloomington (MN), and Mall of America all use the freely available software to manage and control their ITS devices.
SRF has extensive experience implementing IRIS and writing custom code to meet the needs of agencies. Following an initial assessment phase, NDOR contracted with SRF to provide a statewide roll out of IRIS, including development, integration, and user training. In addition to operating the CCTV and message signs for the State Operation Center (SOC), SRF added functionality to IRIS, including automatic positioning (GPS) for portable devices and operation of the State’s road closure gates. Other functions were also added, such as the ability to treat still images as video resources and a variety of improvements to the communication infrastructure.
Development work included defining the requirements for new software modules, reviewing and testing software, managing the configuration and data conversion needed for the IRIS system, testing, and troubleshooting. By engaging with the IRIS project maintainers from the MnDOT, SRF’s development staff was able to master the existing IRIS code base, and make contributions to the core infrastructure of the application as well as develop new functionality to meet the client’s needs. As a result, the NDOR paid only for the services provided by SRF, not for any licensing fees.
SRF was also responsible for integration and configuration of the new ATMS in Nebraska and facilitating the transition from legacy systems to IRIS. SRF’s experience with field hardware (such as sign controllers, video encoders, and communications systems) allowed the team to go outside of the control center and provide on-site, hands-on support for the existing systems.
In addition to its work in Nebraska, SRF has also been providing IRIS services to KDOT and the Mall of America. In Kansas, SRF has been responsible for deploying IRIS, integrating IRIS with the state’s truck parking system, and providing user support. At the Mall of America, SRF has implemented IRIS with wayfinding DMS in and around the Mall of America, proving the system’s benefit for small agencies. Future IRIS work will provide integration between IRIS systems operated by the Mall of America, City of Bloomington, and MnDOT, allowing the agencies to view each other’s devices and more easily share traffic management and incident data.