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Center Identification Number: 350-06

Project Title: CUTRcast

Principal Investigator:

Philip L. Winters, TDM Program Director
(813) 974-9811


Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

I. Project Objective

To research and investigate potential solutions for a distance learning virtual conferencing tools.

II. Project Abstract

Web-based training and conferencing is an innovative approach to distance learning in which computer-based training/conferencing is delivered via the World Wide Web, the Internet and intranets. Web based conferencing is an ideal, cost effective vehicle for delivering and sharing information to geographically distributed audiences, such as those in the public transportation community. Advances in technology have lead to this new form of virtual communication. Technological improvements in networks, hardware, software and bandwidth technologies have lent themselves to the design and delivery of web-conferencing. Through NCTR, CUTR is researching and investigating potential solutions for distance learning virtual conferencing tools.

It is CUTR's belief that a browser based, virtual reality, interactive, chat, conferencing, and real time audio and video system will offer communication advancements in both speed of information sharing, and the technological advancement that would not normally be feasible within the public transportation industry. Since this a fairly new technology, CUTR will have various phases of researching, testing, studying, and implementation. These phases will help CUTR to become product experts and aid in the decision making process.

III. Task Descriptions

A. Task 1 Development of Web-Based Conferencing Solutions

In Task 1 of the project, CUTR will develop and implement a pre-recorded video/audio web-based conferencing solution posted to the Internet for streaming delivery to interested public transportation related audiences. CUTR's initial goal is to utilize the technology delivered through PowerPoint Presentation Broadcast Technology software. The end product will be a melding of PowerPoint presentation incorporating streaming audio/video voiceovers, used to present the findings of research funded through the NCTR program.

Early stages of this project indicate the development of several types of conferencing files available for viewing. Additional research and testing will be performed to establish an effective and efficient end product. This phase is critical for assessing technical analysis and identifying user needs.

B. Task 2 Investigate Web-Based Conferencing Products

In Task 2, CUTR will investigate more sophisticated web-based conferencing products. The goal is to move towards a highly interactive, web based, live audio and video conferencing system. This phase will include the discovery and identification of distance learning industry leaders.

C. Task 3 Implementation

Task 3 calls for the implementation of the interactive, web-based audio and video conferencing system. However, implementation in itself will require a good deal of research and testing. Since CUTR only supports its internal system infrastructure, usability issues may occur outside of our infrastructure. It is our goal to identify and troubleshoot these usability issues in Task 2, however changing technologies will keep this on-going task challenging.

IV. Student Involvement

Graduate students will be used in the collection, synthesis of information, software development and technical assistance fulfillment.

V. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review

This is a technology transfer activity designed to share the results of research conducted as part of the NCTR program.

VI. TRB Keywords

Teleconferencing, web-based training


National Center for Transit Research at the Center For Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 (813) 974-3120 (813) 974-5168 Comments: