CBP seeks system to detect traffic congestion

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is looking for innovative technologies that can accurately predict traffic congestion at land ports of entry before crowding occurs.

Agency officials would like to obtain an information system that can continuously monitor and measure incoming automobile traffic within 10 miles of U.S./Canada border entry points. They published their requirements for the Land Border Operational Awareness program in a request for information released Feb. 9. Responses are due by Feb. 23.

The goal is to acquire information on vehicle traffic approaching the northern border to help avoid congestion and related negative economic effects, the notice states.

CBP has a number of management and information systems that update officials on daily operations, similar to the CompStat system many police departments use, the notice states. Existing tools provide information that is displayed on dashboards. They cover metrics such as cargo flow, passenger flow, enforcement actions and seizures. The new congestion measures must be integrated into those dashboards.

The agency wants one or more passive technologies that would help estimate the number of approaching vehicles and their speed. Officials are considering technologies that incorporate photography, radar, magnetic detection and radio emissions.

However, proposed technologies should not collect information on vehicles’ occupants. “While CBP is agnostic as to the technology proposed, because of privacy concerns, it is critical that whatever technology is proposed not transmit any personally identifiable information regarding the occupants of the car,” the notice states.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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