Olsson Communicates Expertise at ITS Heartland

Angie Przbylo, Marketing

May 14, 2018

Olsson’ (Olsson) Traffic and Technology team members attended the ITS Heartland Annual Conference last month in Lincoln, Nebraska. The ITS Heartland chapter consists of five heartland states – Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Its goal is to share information about ITS (intelligent transportation systems) projects and activities and to showcase ITS applications. Over 250 representatives from all five state Departments of Transportation, major universities in each state, and the Federal Highway Administration attended this year’s conference. Common themes included smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and data management.

Olsson has been an honored platinum sponsor of the conference for the past several years. This year marks a record of four Olsson presenters at the conference. Blake Hansen, technology industry expert; and Todd Fredericksen, traffic team leader, spoke on the benefits of Extending Your Communications Network through Public and Private Partnerships. The duo demonstrated their experience helping agencies work with telecommunications providers to extend communications infrastructure, to reduce overall communications expenses, to minimize the number of communications lines in the right-of-way, and even to generate revenue.

Jessica Das, assistant traffic engineer, presented a summary of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s ITS and Communication Service Layer Plan. Olsson serves as the consultant for this unique approach to traffic systems management and operations (TSMO). This presentation described the plan and gave examples of tactics established for the deployment of various ITS and communications technologies over the next five to 10 years.

Jessica Das, assistant traffic engineer

During the opening session, Shailen Bhatt, ITS America president, spoke of the importance of open data and information sharing. One of the keys to successful TSMO is situational awareness, which is the ability to know what is occurring on the highway system. The more information we have, the better we can provide a response that enhances the safety and mobility of the travelling public. Following this notion, Olsson’s Mike Jackson, technical leader, spoke about the benefits of Open Data for Traffic Operations, including the considerations in establishing the service, such as security, liability, best practices, and costs.

Mike Jackson, technical leader

Olsson’s final presentation was How Smart is Your Infrastructure? by Blake Hansen. Blake provided information on a better way to approach each technology decision strategically, looking at the organization’s overall vision and goals and layering in customer needs and expectations. He explained that when looking for ways to bolster operations with technology, it is helpful to develop and regularly update a roadmap.

Blake Hansen, technology industry expert

Olsson has many years of experience with the planning, selection, and implementation of smart infrastructure and ITS projects. Whether your organization works with public or private infrastructure, we can show you how to plan, design, implement, and deploy technology projects that will help you avoid pitfalls, provide the biggest impacts for you and your customers, and meet your goals.

If you would like more information, please contact any of our presenters.

Blake Hansen, PE, PMP, PTOE

Industry Expert



Todd Fredericksen, PE, PTOE

Traffic Team Leader



Jessica Das, EI

Assistant Traffic Engineer



Mike Jackson, PE

Technical Leader