Research Archive

In the future cars, trucks, buses, the roadside, and our smartphones will talk to each other. They will share valuable safety, mobility, and environmental information over a wireless communications network that is already connecting and transforming our transportation system as we know it. Such a system of “connected vehicles,” mobile devices, and roads will provide a wealth of transportation data, from which innovative and transformative applications will be built. These applications will make travel not only safer, but smarter and greener. The possibilities are boundless.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Dynamic Mobility Applications program is exploring these possibilities, specifically focusing on reducing delays and congestion and thus significantly improving mobility. Here are some of the applications that a connected vehicle world would make possible:

EnableATIS

…represents a framework around a desired end state for a future traveler information network, with a focus on multimodal integration, facilitated sharing of data, end-to-end trip perspectives, and use of analytics and logic to generate predictive information specific to users. As the traveler information marketplace continues to evolve, EnableATIS seeks to facilitate, support, and enable those advancements and innovations to provide transformative traveler information.

Research Plan

The Enable Advanced Traveler Information System (EnableATIS) is looking ahead to a future operational environment that will support and enable an advanced, transformational traveler information services framework. This future framework is envisioned to be enabled with a much more robust pool of real-time data through connected vehicles, public and private systems, and user-generated content. This Operational Concept does not define specific future applications, but rather seeks to formalize a framework whereby multiple activities are envisioned to interact to support a diverse traveler information environment. Two operational scenarios are possible – one is a laissez-faire approach to an incremental build out and enhancement of traveler information services over time and with limited influence on the market from US DOT; the second represents a desired end-state of a robust, multimodal, multisource traveler information environment that leverages new data sources and generates transformative uses of that information to benefit travelers as well as system operations and management by agencies.

EnableATIS has the potential to transform how traveler information is gathered and shared, how agencies are able to use information to better manage and balance the transportation networks, as well as transform how users obtain information about every detail of their trip. New forms of data will unlock the potential for a highly personalized, intuitive, and predictive suite of traveler information services well beyond what is experienced today.

Research for EnableATIS is identifying the gaps in the existing marketplace, and in coordination with other Dynamic Mobility Applications and Real-Time Data Capture and Management efforts, is providing strategic directions and investment decisions that will help shape the environment for unique public/private partnerships for the next generation of enabling traveler information services. To guide the ATIS community toward achieving the vision set forth for EnableATIS, the following goals have been established:

  • Goal #1: EnableATIS will transform the user experience on the transportation network. Future traveler information systems will intuitively provide users with trip, location, and mode specific information to empower real-time decision making.
  • Goal #2: As a result of EnableATIS, the transportation networks will experience measurable gains in performance, including mobility, safety, and efficiency.
  • Goal #3: A more robust traveler information suite of capabilities will be enabled through a rich and multisource data environment that leverages public sector system and operations data, transportation network operations, and user data from privately operated systems.

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FRATIS

…is a bundle of applications that provides freight-specific dynamic travel planning and performance information and optimizes drayage operations so that load movements are coordinated between freight facilities to reduce empty-load trips.

Research Plan

The Freight Advanced Traveler Information Systems (FRATIS) bundle of applications seeks to improve the efficiency of freight operations by using several levels of real-time information to guide adaptive and effective decision making. Currently, freight routing, scheduling, and dispatch decisions are sometimes made in an ad-hoc fashion, with inadequate data to make fully informed decisions. This is particularly the case for small- to medium-sized firms (this category includes many drayage operators and over-the-road haulers) that may not be able to invest in information technologies and systems at the level of larger firms. While much data are already available, FRATIS seeks to integrate existing data sources in a manner and with a quality that is oriented toward freight's unique operational characteristics that require different data and methods/time frames for information delivery. Also, the applications will be developed in a manner that leverages connected vehicle data.

Two applications comprise FRATIS. While envisioned as separate applications, both must be present and deployed in an integrated fashion. The applications are:

  • Freight Specific Dynamic Travel Planning and Performance
    This application bundle seeks to include all of the traveler information, dynamic routing, and performance monitoring elements that users need. It is expected that this application will leverage existing data in the public domain, as well as emerging private sector applications, to provide benefits to both sectors. Other data includes real-time freeway and key arterial speeds and volumes, incident information, road closure information, route restrictions, bridge heights, truck parking availability, cell phone and/or Bluetooth movement/speed data, weather data, and real-time speed data from fleet management systems.
  • Drayage Optimization
    This application bundle seeks to combine container load matching and freight information exchange systems to fully optimize drayage operations, thereby minimizing bobtails1/dry runs and wasted miles, as well as spreading out truck arrivals at intermodal terminals throughout the day. With this application, the US DOT and industry also have an opportunity to address some key industry gaps – to truly optimize a freight carrier's itinerary, extensive communication is required from a wide range of entities (including rail carriers, metropolitan planning organizations, traffic management centers, customers, and the freight carriers themselves) in a manner that assesses all of the variables and produces an optimized itinerary. This requires the development of a powerful set of algorithms that leverage data from multiple sources. In addition to optimization, these improvements are expected to lead to benefits in terms of air quality and traffic congestion. The figure below provides a graphic of the FRATIS high-level design concept.

    Figure 1. Proposed High-Level System Concept for FRATIS

    This figure illustrates the proposed, high-level system concept for the FRATIS application bundle. The image is of a circle in the middle of a number of boxes surrounding the circle. The circle represents the data integration between public and private sectors, ideally as part of a regional public-private partnership. This source of integrated data will feed a number of uses which are represented by the boxes. They include: Regional ITS Data, Third-Party Truck Specific Movement Data, Intermodal Terminal Data, the FRATIS Basic Applications, the FRATIS Commercial Applications, and Future U.S. DOT Connected Vehicle Data needs. The integrated data source or sources feed these boxes through application program interfaces or APIs. This is represented by bi-directional arrows between the circle and the boxes. The bi-directional nature means that the organizations and applications that request and use the data are also sending data back to the circle or the integrated source of data. At the bottom of this graphic is an additional link from the integrated data source to an IT Toolkit which contains all of the FRATIS documentation that has formed the basis of this design. These documents include a Concept of Operations, Architecture, Use Cases, APIs, Web and other applications, testing best practices guide, performance criteria, and business plan. At this time, these documents, or tools, are mostly still under development but will be available with the release of the FRATIS application bundle.

Both bundles will consist of two application levels – a basic application, developed from open-source data and services and available in the public realm; and a “value-added” commercial application, targeted at existing, subscriber user groups. A set of foundational documents (including a ConOps and systems requirements document) will be available in the spring of 2013.

With the conclusion of the first phase of FRATIS research nearly complete, the DMA program has moved into the second phase which is focused on applications development and testing. A June 2012 request for task proposals resulted in a range of innovative ways to prototype and demonstrate a FRATIS application under real-world conditions and with strong public-private partnerships and participation from planning associations, freight forwarder associations, private sector owner/operators, port and inland port associations, and local DOT and planning agencies. The FRATIS prototypes will build from a previous research effort – the Cross-Town Improvement Project (C-TIP) – which was a 2009-2010 prototype of a system and algorithm that sought to demonstrate the benefits of travel demand management, dynamic routing, and drayage optimization for the Kansas City inland port. The FRATIS prototypes are expected to address the gaps identified in C-TIP.

The three sites chosen to demonstrate FRATIS will offer the following:

  • The Los Angeles-Gateway Region site will be developing the FRATIS applications to address the dynamic travel planning around the marine terminals and queues to move cargo out of the port more efficiently.
  • The Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas site will be prototyping the FRATIS applications to incorporate the integrated corridor management capability along with size and weight permitting. This site is also testing the Connected Vehicle Basic Safety Message (SAE Standards J2735-2009). It is additionally looking to optimize drayage opportunities in coordination with rail and local truck drayage companies.
  • The South Florida site will be focused in a similar manner as the other sites, but will be adding an emergency response capability to FRATIS that would realign the purpose of freight transportation to bring in supplies during an emergency such as a hurricane.

All three areas will integrate data from existing sources and collect data to measure FRATIS performance goals and transformative targets. These performance metrics include reductions in:

  • Number of “bobtail” trips
  • Terminal queue time
  • Travel time
  • Number of freight-involved incidents
  • Fuel consumption
  • Level of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas equivalents

Phase 2 will begin with data collection to establish the existing baseline in each area. Software development will also proceed. Prototype demonstrations are expected to be launched in the summer of 2013 and run for approximately six months in order to collect evaluation data. Evaluation results are expected in 2014.


A “bobtail” trip is a truck operating without a trailer. This is also referred to as operating the truck in a non-trucking capacity and is highly inefficient for the transportation system.

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IDTO

…are the next generation of applications that transform transit mobility, operations, and services through the availability of new data sources and communications.

Research Plan

Integrated Dynamic Transit Operations (IDTO) will enable transit systems to provide better information to travelers and increase the quality of service. Improvements in the transit experience are expected to lead to increases in the use of public transit, allowing the FTA to meet goals for improving the environment and increasing mobility.

In selecting the IDTO applications, the US DOT sought opportunities to be transformative – these applications significantly alter existing transit services and result in substantial mobility improvements; are achievable in the near-term; and leverage the connected transportation environment data. While these applications exist at some level in today's world, the systems and communications upon which they rely can be fragmented, leading to insufficient protections, untimely information, and inconvenience for travelers. Further, some of the capabilities are operated by public sector agencies and some by private sector providers who may be unaffiliated and frequently employ different communications and technology systems. The IDTO applications look to resolve these gaps and evolve the current state to offer transformative impacts while minimizing risks.

The US DOT defines the IDTO bundle as the following three applications:

  • T-CONNECT
    The goal of T-CONNECT is to improve rider satisfaction and reduce expected trip time for multimodal travelers by increasing the probability of automatic intermodal or intra-modal connections. T-CONNECT will protect transfers between both transit (e.g., bus, subway, and commuter rail) and non-transit (e.g., shared ride) modes, and will facilitate coordination between multiple agencies to accomplish the tasks. In certain situations, integration with other IDTO bundle applications (T-DISP and D-RIDE) may be required to coordinate connections between transit and non-transit modes. Figure 2 provides an overview of the concept.

    Figure 2. T-CONNECT Concept Overview

    Figure 2 provides an overview of the T-Connect Concept. From the left, an image of a transit van notes the request made by a passenger for a transfer to a separate, outgoing vehicle. The data needed by the outgoing vehicle from the van includes location and operational status. The image shows these data points being sent with the transfer request to an application that routes the request to a multi-modal regional control center which is integrated with a traffic management center. From the control center, the image shows the request being processed and notification sent to the outgoing vehicle with the necessary data on when the van will arrive. If later than anticipated, the outgoing vehicle also receives a notice to hold until the arrival of the van; at which point, the passenger transfers and the outgoing vehicle is allowed to proceed.
  • T-DISP
    T-DISP seeks to expand transportation options by leveraging available services from multiple modes of transportation. Travelers would be able to request a trip via a handheld mobile device (or phone or personal computer) and have itineraries containing multiple transportation services (public transportation modes, private transportation services, shared-ride, walking and biking) sent to them via the same handheld device. T-DISP builds on existing technology systems such as computer-aided dispatch/automatic vehicle location (CAD/AVL) systems and automated scheduling software. These systems will have to be expanded to incorporate business and organizational structures that aim to better coordinate transportation services in a region. A physical or virtual central system, such as a travel management coordination center (TMCC) would dynamically schedule and dispatch trips. T-DISP enhances communications with travelers and presents them with the broadest range of travel options when making a trip. Figure 3 illustrates how T-DISP is expected to work.

    Figure 3. T-DISP Concept Overview

    Figure 3 illustrates the T-DISP Concept Overview. There are three components to this process: Traveler, Control Center, and Public Transportation Modes Private Transportation. The Traveler component has the following characteristics: needs to travel, explores options, and requests trips. The Control Center provides a link to match traveler requests with available service, and schedules services based on vehicle availability information and predetermined business rules. The Public Transportation Modes Private Transportation component operates services, and provides information on vehicles and service availability.
  • D-RIDE
    The Dynamic Ridesharing (D-RIDE) application is an approach to carpooling in which drivers and riders arrange trips within a relatively short time in advance of departure. Through the D-RIDE application, a person could arrange daily transportation to reach a variety of destinations, including those that are not serviced by transit. D-RIDE serves as a complement subsystem within the IDTO bundle by providing an alternative to transit when it is not a feasible mode of transport or is unavailable within a certain geographic area. The D-RIDE system would usually be used on a one-time, trip-by-trip basis, and would provide drivers and riders with the flexibility of making real-time transportation decisions. The two main goals of the D-RIDE application are to increase the use of nontransit ride-sharing options including carpooling and vanpooling, and to improve the accuracy of vehicle capacity detection for occupancy enforcement and revenue collection on managed lanes. As a result of accomplishing these two goals, a myriad of other benefits could exist that benefit transit systems, including that D-RIDE could help reduce peak demand for public transit so the public transit system can be designed more affordably and can have greater customer satisfaction during spikes in ridership. Figure 4 illustrates the communication flow for D-RIDE.

    Figure 4. D-RIDE Communication Flow

    Figure 4 provides a graphical overview of the D-RIDE application and its communication flow. The D-RIDE applications allows for carpooling in real-time or near-real time. In the image, the communications flow begins on the left side and shows a variety of traveler communications platforms (for instance, smart phones, desktop computers) and the availability of location information on vehicles. The traveler makes a request and the request flows into a data center with ridematch optimization software. The request also goes through a vetting process to ensure that the traveler making the request is a valid user or member of the carpooling community. The request is then matched with a valid vehicle and is optimized according to the requested route. With the processing completed, the request is transformed into a match which then flows to the right and back into the traveler's communication platform to inform him or her of a ride; and flows into vehicles to provide notice to pick up the passenger.

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INFLO

…is a collection of high-priority, transformative applications that aim to maximize roadway throughput, reduce crashes, and reduce fuel consumption through the use of frequently collected and rapidly disseminated multisource data drawn from connected vehicles, travelers' mobile devices, and infrastructure.

Research Plan

Advancing applications for intelligent network flow optimization can offer important system-wide benefits to traffic flow and safety. The Intelligent Network Flow Optimization (INFLO) bundle consists of applications related to queue warning, speed harmonization, and cooperative adaptive cruise control. Current practices for queue detection and warning and speed harmonization are fundamentally limited by their exclusive reliance upon infrastructure-based detection and warning. This imposes a number of limitations on the system, impacting its ability to:

  • Locate and distribute queue warnings sufficiently along a facility and ensure that generated warnings are received by drivers
  • Obtain sufficient traffic and road weather data to be able to produce accurate warnings¯¯
  • Operate for sufficient periods in the day to provide warnings whenever queues occur
  • Target appropriate speed recommendations to specific portions of the facility and ensure that generated speed recommendations are received by drivers
  • Obtain sufficient traffic and road weather data to be able to produce accurate speed recommendations
  • Operate for sufficient periods in the day to provide speed guidance whenever the need may arise.

In addition, cooperative adaptive cruise control is reliant upon yet-to-be-deployed connected vehicle technologies.

A connected vehicle system is both vehicle- and infrastructure-based and has the potential to provide a broader and more dynamic set of data and data exchange that will support the INFLO applications in a manner that will address today's limitations.

The three applications that comprise INFLO include:

  • Queue Warning (Q-WARN)
    The objective of Q-WARN is to provide a vehicle operator with sufficient warning of an impending queue backup in order to brake safely, change lanes, or modify the route such that secondary collisions can be minimized or even eliminated. It is distinct from collision warning, which pertains to events or conditions that require immediate or emergency actions. Queue warnings are provided in order to reduce the likelihood of the formation of such emergency events.

    A queue backup can occur due to a number of conditions, including:

    • Daily recurring congestion caused by bottlenecks
    • Work zones, which typically cause bottlenecks
    • Incidents, which, depending on traffic flow, lead to bottlenecks
    • Weather conditions, including icing, low visibility, sun angles, and high wind
    • Exit ramp spillovers onto freeways due to surface street traffic conditions

    In all cases, queuing is a result of significant downstream speed reductions or stopped traffic and can occur with freeways, arterials, and rural roads. Queuing conditions present significant safety concerns; in particular, the increased potential for rear-end collisions. They also present disruptions to traffic throughput by introducing shockwaves into the upstream traffic flow. A queue warning system will be successful at minimizing secondary collisions and the resulting traffic flow shockwaves by being able to: rapidly detect the location, duration, and length of a queue propagation; formulate an appropriate response plan for approaching vehicles; and disseminate such information to the approaching vehicles readily and in an actionable manner.

    The INFLO Q-WARN application concept aims to minimize the occurrence and impact of traffic queues by using connected vehicle technologies, including vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, to enable vehicles within the queue event to automatically broadcast their queued status information (e.g., rapid deceleration, disabled status, lane location) to nearby upstream vehicles and to infrastructure-based central entities (such as the TMC). The conceptual Q-WARN application performs two essential tasks: queue determination (detection and/or prediction) and queue information dissemination. In order to perform these tasks, Q-WARN solutions can be vehicle-based or infrastructure-based or utilize a combination of each.

    It is important to note that the Q-WARN application concept is not intended to operate as a crash avoidance system (e.g., like the forward collision warning [FCW] safety application). In contrast to such systems, Q-WARN will engage well in advance of any potential crash situation, providing messages and information to the driver in order to minimize the likelihood of his needing to take crash avoidance or mitigation actions later. As such, Q-WARN-related driver communication will always give priority to crash avoidance/mitigation safety applications when such applications determine that a safety-related warning is necessary.

  • Dynamic Speed Harmonization (SPD-HARM)
    The objective of SPD-HARM is to dynamically adjust and coordinate maximum appropriate vehicle speeds in response to downstream congestion, incidents, and weather or road conditions in order to maximize traffic throughput and reduce crashes. A dynamic SPD-HARM system will be successful at managing upstream traffic flow by being able to: reliably detect the location, type, and intensity of downstream congestion (or other relevant) conditions; formulate an appropriate response plan (i.e., vehicle speed and/or lane recommendations) for approaching vehicles; and disseminate such information to upstream vehicles readily and in a manner which achieves an effective rate of compliance. Improved safety results, in terms of reduced crash rates and less severe crashes, have shown to be the most significant and consistent achievements across deployments that exist today at some level. In addition, SPD-HARM techniques promote reduced vehicle speeds and speed variance, especially in unsafe driving conditions; support modest improvements in throughput; and have a moderately positive impact on travel time reliability. There are three key factors that contribute to the operation of an effective speed harmonization system. The first factor is the availability of information on the prevailing condition on the field. The second factor is the existence of a reliable strategy for the speed limit selection. The last factor is the flow of information from the field to decision making center and vice versa.

    Research and experimental evidence has consistently demonstrated that by reducing speed variability among vehicles, especially in near-onset flow breakdown conditions, traffic throughput is improved, flow breakdown formation is delayed or even eliminated, and collisions and severity of collisions are reduced. The INFLO SPD-HARM application concept aims to realize these benefits by utilizing connected vehicle V2V and V2I communication to detect the precipitating roadway or congestion conditions that might necessitate speed harmonization, to generate the appropriate response plans and speed recommendation strategies for upstream traffic, and to broadcast such recommendations to the affected vehicles.

  • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC)
    The objective of CACC is to dynamically and automatically coordinate cruise control speeds among platooning vehicles in order to significantly increase traffic throughput. By tightly coordinating in-platoon vehicle movements, headways among vehicles can be significantly reduced, resulting in a smoothing of traffic flow and an improvement in traffic flow stability. Additionally, by reducing drag, shorter headways can result in improved fuel economy providing the environmental benefits of lowered energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

    The CACC operational concept represents an evolutionary advancement of conventional cruise control (CCC) systems and adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems by utilizing V2V and V2I communication to automatically synchronize the movements of many vehicles within a platoon. As with SPD-HARM and Q-WARN, CACC-related driver communication will always give priority to crash avoidance/mitigation safety applications when such applications determine that a safety-related warning is necessary.

    Because the INFLO applications are so closely linked, the effectiveness of each can be improved by taking advantage of the benefits to traffic flow and safety that the others provide. In fact, research-to-date has shown that the most successful implementations have been those that combine multiple different freeway management control applications. For example, SPD-HARM benefits Q-WARN by slowing and managing upstream traffic, thus reducing the risk of secondary collisions. CACC benefits SPD-HARM by providing a mechanism for harmonizing traffic flow and reducing or mitigating acceleration variability. Q-WARN benefits CACC by providing the platoon sufficient notification of an impending queue to effectively manage a response.

    The figure below illustrates how all three applications used in conjunction can help minimize the impact of a freeway incident on traffic flow.

    Figure 5. Combined Q-WARN/SPD-HARM/CACC Illustration

    Figure 5 illustrates the combined Q-WARN/SPD-HARM/CACC process. This is a four-part process. The first part involves the occurrence of a highway collision, which results in queue formation. In the second part or phase, a queue warning message is immediately provided to following vehicles in order to prevent secondary crashes. In the third part, dynamic speed harmonization is initiated for upstream traffic to reduce their speed. In the fourth phase, CACC is initiated for upstream traffic in order to maximize carrying capacity of the road as the crash is cleared.

    Importantly, SPD-HARM and Q-WARN are applications that can be implemented in the near-term. Their benefits are optimized when implemented as infrastructure-based applications that reside at a central entity such as a Traffic Management Center (TMC) as the TMC system has broader visibility into the traffic state, allowing operators to implement a more proactive approach for predicting queues and congestion.

    In addition to the benefits of deploying the three bundled INFLO mobility applications in concert, the applications would also benefit from integrating with other applications, including safety systems like electronic stability control (ESC) systems, night vision systems, curve speed warning systems, lane departure warning systems, alcohol monitoring systems, brake assist systems, steering assist systems, forward collision warning (FCW) systems, and pre-crash sensing systems. Coordination with ramp metering systems would also help provide the INFLO applications a better connection with the overall transportation network. Finally, integrating the INFLO applications with Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) would provide road users enhanced information about the state of the transportation system, pre-trip planning, route-making, and incident avoidance.

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MMITSS

…is the next generation of traffic signal systems that seeks to provide a comprehensive traffic information framework to service all modes of transportation, including general vehicles, transit, emergency vehicles, freight fleets, and pedestrians and bicyclists in a connected vehicle environment. The vision for MMITSS is to provide overarching system optimization that accommodates transit and freight signal priority, preemption for emergency vehicles, and pedestrian movements while maximizing overall arterial network performance.

Research Plan

Traffic signal control has experienced very few fundamental improvements in the past 50 years. While tools and methods have been developed to enable traffic engineers' better use of traffic signal control, the fundamental logic and operations of the controller have not changed. Further, most systems today depend on loop detectors or video-based systems that are located at fixed locations in space to call and extend signal control phases. These detection systems provide basic information such as vehicle count, occupancy, and/or presence/passage information. This limits the use of advanced logic that can potentially be built into modern day traffic signal controllers.

Modern traffic control management systems provide the ability to monitor signal operations, change signal control plans by time of day or in a traffic responsive manner, and some provide adaptive signal timing where the signal timing parameters are adjusted based on traditional vehicle detector data. Traffic management systems provide a traffic engineer the ability to manipulate signals from a central traffic control center, but have limited strategic control capability and rely heavily on the innovation and skill of the traffic signal engineer user.

The advances in Connected Vehicle technologies provide the first real opportunity for transforming traffic signal control in terms of the traffic signal controller logic, operations, and performance. The advent of Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) in vehicular communication provides a critical component that, when coupled with meaningful messages (SAE Standards J2735-2009), has the potential to provide detailed information required for intelligent traffic signal control. DSRC can be leveraged to provide real-time knowledge of vehicle class (passenger, transit, emergency, commercial), position, speed, and acceleration on each approach. The widespread availability of other wireless communications media (such as WiFi, 3G/4G, and Bluetooth enabled Smartphones) provide coverage for other users including pedestrians and cyclists as well as coverage for other longer-range messages from vehicles that can support traffic signal system management in areas with sparse deployments of DSRC roadside equipment. The potential for safer and more efficient multimodal traffic signal operations is finally possible.2

To realize these new opportunities, the Multi-Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal Systems (MMITSS) applications bundle has been conceived. It incorporates, at a minimum, the following arterial traffic signal applications:

  • Intelligent Traffic Signal System (ISIG)
    Using high-fidelity data collected from vehicles through V2V and V2I wireless communications as well as pedestrian and non-motorized travelers, this proposed application seeks to control signals and maximize flows in real time. The ISIG application also plays the role of an overarching system optimization application, accommodating transit or freight signal priority, preemption, and pedestrian movements to maximize overall network performance.
  • Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
    This proposed application allows transit agencies to manage bus service by adding the capability to grant buses priority based on a number of factors. The proposed application provides the ability for transit vehicles to communicate passenger count data, service type, scheduled and actual arrival time, and heading information to roadside equipment via an on-board device.
  • Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal System (PED-SIG)
    This application integrates information from roadside or intersection sensors and new forms of data from pedestrian-carried mobile devices. Such systems will be used to inform visually impaired pedestrians when to cross and how to remain aligned with the crosswalk. This application may also support the accommodation of safe and efficient pedestrian movement of a more general nature.
  • Emergency Vehicle Preemption (PREEMPT)
    This proposed application, while similar to existing technologies, will integrate with V2V and V2I communication systems. The application would account for non-linear effects of multiple emergency responses through the same traffic network.
  • Freight Signal Priority (FSP)
    This application provides signal priority near freight facilities based on current and projected freight movements. The goal is to reduce delays and increase travel time reliability for freight traffic, while enhancing safety at key intersections.

The interaction of these applications, as part of the connected vehicle environment, provides a transformational opportunity to change the fundamentals of traffic signal control. The final goal is to field test or demonstrate MMITSS.


Multi-Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal System: Development of Concept of Operations, System Requirements, System – Design and a Test Plan, Project Plan, located at: https://www.transportationresearch.gov/dotrc/cv/Lists/Researches/Attachments/12/PFS_MMITSS01_Summary.pdf.

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R.E.S.C.U.M.E.

…are the next generation of applications that transform the response, emergency staging and communications, uniform management, and evacuation process associated with incidents. The vision for R.E.S.C.U.M.E. is to leverage wireless connectivity, center-to-center communications, and center-to-field communications to solve problems faced by emergency management agencies, emergency medical services (EMS), public agencies, and emergency care givers, as well as persons requiring assistance.

Research Plan

The Response, Emergency Staging and Communications, Uniform Management, and Evacuation (R.E.S.C.U.M.E.) bundle of applications seeks to leverage new information that helps to quickly detect and assess incidents and their effects on traffic flow, model the evacuation flow, push information to evacuees, and help responders identify the best available resources and ways to allocate them in the timeliest manner. Government officials who conduct evacuations will have a better common operational picture, enhanced by greater communication with vehicles and roadside equipment, public safety personnel in the field, and the public itself. Public safety personnel in the field who are increasingly using portable communications devices (such as tablets and smartphones to supplement radios, cell phones, and mobile data terminals) will be able to provide real-time information to operations centers and traffic management centers which will improve traffic and route guidance during incidents and evacuations.

Some of the key gaps that R.E.S.C.U.M.E. applications seek to address include:

  • Lack of shared situational awareness among first responders and other managers
  • Lack of interoperability among communications systems
  • Need for more timely warnings and notifications to the general public
  • Inadequate notification and warnings to incident scene work zone personnel and vehicles approaching the zones
  • Insufficient information available on special needs populations to facilitate their evacuation and need for relocation

The US DOT defines the R.E.S.C.U.M.E. bundle as the following applications:

  • Incident Scene Pre-Arrival Staging Guidance for Emergency Responders (RESP-STG)
    This application provides situational awareness information to public safety responders while en route to an incident. It can also help establish incident work zones that are safe for responders, travelers, and crash victims by providing input regarding routing, staging, and secondary dispatch decisions; staging plans; satellite imagery; GIS data; current weather data; and real-time modeling outputs. This new information is expected to provide more accurate and detailed information to support decisions and actions made by responders and dispatchers.
  • Incident Scene Work Zone Alerts for Drivers and Workers (INC-ZONE)
    This application bundle has two components, one that warns drivers that are approaching temporary work zones at unsafe speeds, and or trajectory; and another that warns public safety personnel and other officials working in the zone through an audible warning system.
  • Emergency Communications and Evacuation (EVAC)
    This application bundle addresses the needs of two different evacuee groups:
    • For those using their own transportation, EVAC provides dynamic route guidance information, current traffic and road conditions, location of available lodging, and location of fuel, food, water, cash machines, and other necessities.
    • For those requiring assistance, EVAC provides information to identify and locate people who are more likely to require guidance and assistance, and information to identify existing service providers and other available resources.
  • Advanced Automated Crash Notification Relay (AACN – RELAY)
    These applications are anticipated to help transmit a range of data via other vehicles and roadside hot spots that can help to enhance incident response. This information can then be forwarded to a public safety answering point. Some of the data elements that have been discussed are:
    • Those generated through in-vehicle systems that can assist responders. Examples of this type of data include vehicle location, number of passengers, seat belt usage, airbag status, point of impact, risks inherent with the type of vehicle (alternate fuel), air-bag deployment, delta velocity of vehicle involved in crash, likelihood of injury, the vehicle's final resting position (e.g., overturned), exact vehicle location (immediately adjacent to waterway), and infrastructure damage (e.g., bridge support);
    • Relevant medical information and patient history used to expedite lifesaving care; and
    • Electronic manifest data collected from commercial vehicles that are involved in incidents to identify load contents and hazmat risks.

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