Vendor from Tampa Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot Deployment Received the World’s First CV Device Certification

A Tampa Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot device vendor became the first in the world to have a connected vehicle device certified by OmniAir Consortium to conform to industry protocol standards and specifications. The vendor and pilot site went through a rigorous process to certify the on-board unit (OBU) that produced both the certification and valuable lessons learned for future CV deployers.

The CV Pilot program is sponsored by the USDOT Joint Program Office for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to pioneer the deployment of connected vehicle technologies in three U.S. locations: Tampa, Wyoming and New York City. All devices used in the CV Pilot program, including roadside units (RSU), On board units (OBU) and aftermarket safety devices (ASD) must be certified.

commsignia groupCertification is defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as “the provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service or system in question meets specific requirements.” The OmniAir CV certification process is thorough and rigorous. The process includes both conformance testing, which determines whether the tested device conforms to the industry standards, and interoperability testing, which determines whether the device can properly communicate with other vendors' devices that conform to the same standards. (Photo Source)

Though the United States is in the early deployment phase of CV technologies, there are already several different vendors who supply CV devices to deployers. It is therefore critical for driver safety and transportation management that these devices can all communicate effectively and in accordance with the established CV device standards. Certifying CV devices helps ensure that drivers, traffic management centers and other CV device stakeholders can trust the messages these devices are sending, especially the critical vehicle-to-vehicle Basic Safety Messages (BSM).

Because the process is rigorous, vendors need to conduct their own test program that performs the same type of tests the certification labs will conduct, well before the certification testing. This way they have a good idea of how the devices will perform and can be proactive in addressing potential issues and test failures before sending the device off for certification.

To aid that effort, the tests the certification lab conducts are available to anyone to review and prepare for and can be found at: https://github.com/certificationoperatingcouncil/COC_TestSpecs. All devices have to meet the: IEEE 1609.2, 1609.3, 1609.4 test specifications, IEEE 802.11 test specification, and the WAVE V2I test specification. OBUs and ASDs also have to meet the SAE J2945/1 test specification. CV device vendors and future deployers should become familiar with the testing specifications for CV devices to ensure quality device manufacturing and deployment. 

For the CV Pilots program, vendors started submitting devices to the test labs in January and February 2018, and the first certification for a single device in Tampa was received in May. Other CV Pilot vendors are still working through getting their devices certified. Future vendors and deployers will need to include adequate time for the certification process based on the experiences of the CV Pilot sites.

The CV Pilot vendors and deployers have found the certification test labs to be accommodating throughout the certification process. The three CV Pilot projects have had teleconferences and meetings with the certification test labs to discuss issues they are finding with the devices, and these discussions help their vendors update their devices and get to a point where they can pass the certification tests. The CV Pilot work with OmniAir’s Connected Vehicle Certification program has led to more clear interpretations of standards and testing of devices.

The CV Pilot project is laying the groundwork for future deployment success. Future deployers will be better able to navigate the certification process with their CV device vendors. They can also consult the OmniAir Certified Product Catalog to find vendor devices that have already been certified by OmniAir, including those used by the CV Pilot early deployers.