ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation, home of one of the most popular, heavily used real-time traveler information systems in the country, today unveiled the next generation of Georgia NaviGAtor 511. The new system brings new features and, through a public-private partnership, new sponsors, allowing the Department and its 511 provider, Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc., an Iteris company, to operate and maintain the system at no cost to Georgia taxpayers.
This is the first major upgrade of the NaviGAtor system since its inception for the 1996 Olympic Games and is part of a federal effort to establish traveler information services nationwide. The new Georgia 511 platform creates a foundation for many new traveler information enhancements planned for the future, such as statewide congestion reporting and 511 services in Spanish.
PepsiCo, and its blockbuster-selling Mountain Dew, is the first national brand to sponsor Georgia 511. Company promotions will lead the system’s sponsorship program, complete with Mountain Dew truck-back artwork and sponsor messaging on 511 services.
“By engaging sponsorship opportunities, we can continue to provide vital services to travelers in a time of unprecedented funding challenges,” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith, Jr. “Our ongoing mission is to keep travelers safe and informed and to provide for their mobility throughout the state. The Department is recognized as a national leader in traveler information services and this represents a natural growth and progression of that innovation.”
One feature new to the NaviGAtor 511 system is 511: The App, the official traveler information mobile phone application of Georgia. It provides real-time, location-based traveler information on Georgia’s highways, digital coupons and promotions as well as other special offers of interest to travelers.
“The original Georgia NaviGAtor system served the state well for many years, but it was limited relative to what we can offer with today’s technology,” said Mark Demidovich, Assistant State Traffic Engineer. “We’ve retained most of the features that our users favored; added a mobile app with special offers for travelers; and established a robust foundation for future NaviGAtor and 511 expansions.”
The integrated Georgia 511 sponsorship program includes four components:
- The 511 phone system, developed by Meridian, which has received over 5 million calls since inception in August 2007 and is being expanded to accommodate brief sponsor messages and future concierge-style services;
- The main Georgia NaviGAtor website, 511ga.org, redesigned and developed by Meridian, Iteris, and partners;
- The mobile app, developed by 511Live, LLC, now available as a free download for iPhone users (Blackberry and Droid apps coming soon); and,
- Signs on the state right-of-way to promote the 511 program and its sponsors, managed by Revelation Outdoor, LLC.
“People are very mobile and need to know traffic and road conditions before and during their trip,” said Leon Osborne, president and CEO of Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc. “The new NaviGAtor website and mobile app will make it easier to plan trips, avoid problem areas, and reach destinations more quickly and safely.”
To demonstrate the power of the system, the new applications, and the special offers available, Georgia 511 is planning a major summer promotion to coincide with the summer travel and construction season.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless, and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. For general information on the Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov.
(Editor’s note: The following is additional information about the partners mentioned above. To learn more about sponsorship or view press kit materials, go to 511LIVE.com or the 511ga.org Press Room.)
About the 511 Sponsorship Team
Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc. (MET)
Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Iteris, Inc., focuses on utilizing cutting-edge computer technology, scientific research, traveler information analysis, weather analysis, and forecasting systems to increase the productivity and decision-making capabilities of its customers primarily in the Transportation industry. MET draws from extensive public and private data resources to offer a unique range of customer-specific environmental and operational forecasting products and services. Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Meridian’s #SAFE™ traveler information system is the model for the 511 National Guidelines, and currently delivers customized route-specific surface weather and road condition reports statewide across several states. For additional information, go to www.meridian-enviro.com.
Iteris (NYSE Amex: ITI), is a leader in traffic management focused on the development and application of advanced technologies that reduce traffic congestion, minimize the environmental impact of traffic congestion, and improve the safety of surface transportation systems infrastructure. Combining outdoor image processing, traffic engineering, and information technology, Iteris offers a broad range of Intelligent Transportation Systems and driver safety solutions. Iteris is headquartered in Santa Ana, California, with offices throughout North America and in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Investors are encouraged to contact us at 888-329-4483 or at www.iteris.com.
Cohn, Overstreet, & Parrish (CO&P) and 511 Live, LLC
CO&P Integrated Marketing is a full-service marketing communications agency, founded in 2003 and located in Vinings, GA. It is co-owned by partners Amy Parrish and Jim Overstreet. CO&P funded all of the research and development for the 511Live mobile application and holds the approval rights from AASHTO for use of the 511 logo and appropriate distribution rights for the app with the major Smart-Phone manufacturers. (www.co-p.com for complete agency information)
511Live is a recently formed LLC, temporarily located in the offices of CO&P. It is in the process of purchasing all the rights to the 511Live mobile app from CO&P. Its three major partners (though not sole partners) are Parrish, Overstreet and well-known Atlanta attorney and entrepreneur businessman Oliver Lee. The LLC is currently represented by the Atlanta law firm of Morris, Manning, Martin in launching this endeavor in Georgia and other states. (www.511live.com for complete press kit and pricing information)
Revelation Outdoor Management, LLC
Revelation Outdoor Management, LLC was founded in 2000 by Morgan Hudgens and Daniel Cowart. State Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is a partner within parts of the company. Revelation was contracted by Meridian Environmental Technology, Inc. to operate 1,000 511 highway sign locations throughout the state of Georgia. Revelation specializes in strategically locating outdoor messaging for maximum impact on the traveling public. More information is available at www.511sponsorship.com or revelationom.com.
For More Information:
Meridian Environment Technology, Inc.
(770) 880-8072 (c)
(949) 270-9661 (o)
CO&P and 511Live
(404) 218-5599 (c)
Revelation Outdoor Management, LLC
(770) 833-2930 (c)