Research Archive

Research Plan Research Progress and Insights

The objective of the technical V2I safety research program is four-fold:

  • Develop and evaluate a systems environment that allows transfer of information, particularly signal phase and timing (SPaT) data, between vehicles and infrastructure;
  • Establish guidelines and standards for the components and systems required for the functional transfer of information between vehicles and infrastructure;
  • Provide tools and guidance based on objective benefits that will guide investment decisions by public agencies on deploying, operating, and maintaining a V2I system; and
  • Ensure appropriate strategies are implemented for privacy, security and system certification, interoperability, scalability, oversight, and public acceptance. Ensure that policies result in a marketplace that is capable of effectively sustaining deployment of infrastructure components.

The program research will involve multiple transportation agencies and modes. It will concentrate on key FHWA, FTA, and FMCSA application areas of interest, including intersection safety, run-off-road prevention, speed management, transit communications and operations, and commercial vehicle enforcement and operations. In addition, exploratory research on V2I safety for commuter, freight, and heavy rail will investigate data interoperability and communications to support a variety of applications, including grade-crossing operations, track surveillance, and right-of-way (ROW) detection.

Due to the great variety of safety systems currently installed and forthcoming, the program also emphasizes the need for consistent, widely applicable standards and protocols. As part of this research, data and communications standards have been tested. Research results will inform revisions to standards, including the BSM in the SAE J2735 DSRC Message Set Dictionary standard, and a standard communications architecture/platform communicating in the 5.9 GHz band of radio spectrum.

The key to success in V2I research is defining the minimum components needed to ensure maximum benefit from the safety applications. Success will be further measured by progress on:

  • Development of practical, high-value V2I applications and supporting tools and guidance (including applications for specialty vehicles such as transit bus, rail, trams, and trucks);
  • Development and assessment of a traffic signal system application to communicate SPaT information to the vehicle in support of delivering active safety advisories and warnings;
  • Testing and demonstrations of application effectiveness;
  • Identification of all critical interfaces and analysis of where standards are needed; and
  • Research on the DVI to ensure effective approaches that enhance overall safety while minimizing distraction and driver workload.

Research Tracks

Through collaborative research, the ITS Program will engage appropriate parties in a multi-track approach that addresses the breadth of technical and policy related V2I research needs:

  • Track 1: Develop Enabling Technology that supports transfer of information between vehicles and the infrastructure. The objective of this track is to develop hardware, firmware, and software that enable selected infrastructure to interact in the Connected Vehicle Environment. The final goal is a definition of V2I enabling technology which includes the standards and specifications required to manufacture, install, operate and maintain Connected Vehicle infrastructure components and the interfaces that ensure interoperability of components. In addition, a V2I Reference Implementation will be completed for use in testing and evaluation of V2I applications and new infrastructure components.
  • Track 2: Select, Develop, and Evaluate Applications. A list of crash types that could potentially be addressed through V2I safety applications were developed based on an analysis of crash scenarios. This list was refined and prioritized through discussions with AASHTO and other stakeholders. Concepts of Operation and Systems Requirements were developed for priority applications. Based on a review of potential benefits and technical feasibility, four or five of these applications will be proposed for application development. Additional mode-specific applications are being developed in partnership with FHWA, FTA, FMCSA, and FRA. The objective of this track is to develop and test a series of safety and safety related applications. The final goal is to define the effectiveness of these applications and develop societal and financial benefits assessments.
  • Track 3: Infrastructure Planning and Policy is intended to develop tools and guidelines that give practitioners the information required to make sound investment decisions regarding deployment, operation and maintenance of V2I systems.

The key to success of the V2I Communications for Safety program is defining the minimum components required for maximum national benefit from the safety applications. However, Tracks 1 and 3 also directly support Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA), Data Capture and Management (DCM). Applications for the Environment: Real-time Information Synthesis (AERIS), and Road Weather Management (RWM). Accordingly, development of Enabling Technology and Infrastructure Planning and Policy are conducted in collaboration with these program areas.

Research Goals:

  • To employ advanced V2I wireless technologies to reduce, mitigate, or prevent an additional 12 percent of crash scenarios not addressed by the V2V technologies.
  • To develop signal warnings that support active safety.

Research Outcomes:

  • Understand and plan for a minimum level of infrastructure needed to support V2V and V2I safety and operational efficiency applications.
  • Document the stakeholder needs and impacts associated with developing policy guidance or recommendations, in support of deployment.
  • Enable additional safety and mobility applications through the use of traffic Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) data exchange.
  • Enable and facilitate interoperable, cost-effective infrastructure deployment.

Potential V2I Safety Applications crash scenario mitigation opportunities include:

  • Intersection safety
  • Roadway departure prevention
  • Speed management
  • Transit safety and operations
  • Commercial vehicle enforcement and operations
  • At-grade rail crossing operations
  • Priority assignment for emergency vehicles