CV Pilots Featured in Wyoming Traffic Management Center Open House

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) held an open house at its Traffic Management Center and Highway Patrol dispatch complex for interested industry and government leaders on February 19, 2018. The open house showcased the work being done at the complex, including the WYDOT-led Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot program.

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, including Wyoming. The pilot program will demonstrate how safety-related warnings and other CV applications can be deployed in the real world to address safety, mobility, and environmental goals.

The Wyoming pilot project is implementing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication along the I-80 corridor. I-80 is a major corridor for east-west freight movement in the US. The corridor carries more than 32 million tons of freight each year, according to WYDOT. I-80 reaches its highest elevation at 8,640 feet between Cheyenne and Laramie, where winter snowstorms and windstorms frequently create conditions that result in multi-vehicle collisions. In addition to the personal injury and property damage caused by these collisions, the incident response may close the highway for hours or more than a day.

In the middle of the active state budget session, about a dozen Wyoming State legislators made the trip to the open house, along with representatives of the Wyoming Trucking Association and other industry groups.

The CV Pilot portions included an information booth staffed by WYDOT CV Pilot Deputy Project Site Lead Ali Ragan with demo units of the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and the on-board units (OBU) that are being installed on the vehicles in the pilot project. In another area, a roadside unit (RSU) being used in the pilot project was demonstrated to visitors.

The HMI and OBUs will be installed on three types of vehicles: commercial trucks, WYDOT maintenance vehicles, and Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicles. The RSUs will be installed along the pilot area to collect data from the connected vehicles and to broadcast Traveler Information Messages as directed by the Traffic Management Center. WYDOT plans to deploy 400 OBUs and 76 RSUs in the pilot.

The HMI was displayed in demo mode, which showed in rotation the possible alerts popping up on the screen, providing examples of what drivers could expect to see when they participate in the pilot project. The OBU and RSU were on display for visitors to see up close, with a WYDOT employee available to discuss their functions and answer questions.

Along with the hands-on demonstration of CV hardware, WYDOT ran two informational videos about the CV Pilots program. The first was an overview of the project, created as a CV Pilots project deliverable for USDOT, and which can be viewed here.

The second video was created by WYDOT to discuss the pilot project’s coordination with the University of Wyoming. The pilot program is utilizing the University of Wyoming’s Driving Simulator Laboratory to place test subjects into simulated driving scenarios to test their responses and measure the effectiveness of CV technology in mitigating dangerous situations. That video can be viewed here.

Ragan was on hand to answer visitors’ questions about the CV Pilots program and WYDOT’s implementation plans. Visitors asked a range of questions including where the roadside units would be located, how the pilot areas were chosen and the current progress of the pilot project. Visitors were directly engaged with the CV Pilots project and learned more about how the deployed CV technologies can provide benefits to Wyoming.

Dallas Ortiz, WYDOT ITS Technician, discusses roadside ITS devices, including Roadside Units, with visitors.

Dallas Ortiz, WYDOT ITS Technician, discusses roadside ITS devices, including Roadside Units, with visitors.