Research Archive

Research Progress and Insights Research Progress and Insights

Track 1: Develop Enabling Technology

Research Accomplishments

  • Development of enabling technology is underway:
    • RSE Specification version 4.0 completed and has undergone internal and external stakeholder review. Final version 4.0 of the spec was published April 15, 2014.
    • Six intersections with SPaT message included in Safety Pilot Model Deployment. 
    • Six additional intersections in the Safety Pilot area were outfitted with Siemens controllers with the SPaT message set for further testing and evaluation.
    • SPaT is being deployed in Athem, AZ as part of the Multi-Modal Intelligent Transportation Signal System. 
    • Supported efforts of J2735 SE task group on harmonization efforts with EU including participation in drafting the new version of the standard that was balloted in February 2014.
    • Testing of Positioning and Communications at TFHRC was completed in early 2014 and the test results are being evaluated and a report being drafted...
    • Integrated V2I draft architecture has been presented for review by the internal DOT stakeholder group.  A webinar was held on April 22, 2014 to vet the architecture with a group of external stakeholders.
  • Initial mapping of the TFHRC test bed using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and optical cameras has been completed and data reduction is underway.
  • Development of a SPaT interface device is complete. End-to-end transmission of SPaT messages, from signal controller to mobile device, has been successfully tested both in the laboratory and in the field. Additional test are currently being conducted (see above).

Critical Research Insights

  • Technology and standards are constantly evolving in the connected vehicle world. This will necessitate iterative development of some systems.
  • Many of the efforts to be integrated are still in development and technologies are evolving rapidly. Contracts and task orders needs to be flexible enough to accommodate changes while still providing transparency, due diligence and achieving an acceptable end product.
  • Working in a field environment introduces unanticipated impacts on system reliability and performance that are not anticipated from results of bench testing. Also state and local policies may preclude field implementation as they currently stand. Getting buy-in from state and local officials such as through the AASHTO working group will be critical to full-scale deployment.
  • Industry typically works at a much faster pace than the Federal government, and will drive the process if not kept informed and involved. In a related manner, the stakeholder community has been a great source on technical input and often seems underutilized.

Next Steps

  • Purchase initial production units of v4.0 RSE from two vendors for interoperability testing.
  • SPaT software will need to be updated to reflect changes to the message and encoding as balloted by the SAE J2735 committee.
  • Complete deployment of additional SPaT sites in the Novi test bed.
  • Complete Positioning and Communications reports documenting test results.
  • Build and test Integrated V2I Prototype.

Track 2: Select, Develop, and Evaluate Applications

Research Accomplishments

  • Development of applications is underway:
    • The Concepts of Operations (FHWA-JPO-13-058 & FHWA-JPO-13-060) and Systems Requirements (FHWA-JPO-13-059 & FHWA-JPO-13-061) for five V2I Safety applications (Red Light Violation Warning (RLVW), Stop Sign Gap Assist (SSGA), Curve Speed Warning (CSW), Reduced Speed Zone Warning (RSZW, and Spot Weather Information Warning (SWIW) are now complete.
    • The performance requirements for the five V2I safety applications are currently in development. The performance requirements for the safety applications will lead to design requirements that define how the applications will work, and will serve as guidance for those who will build and test working prototypes.
    • FHWA will be working with the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partner’s, LLC (CAMP) to develop working prototypes of these applications. Initial work is expected to begin in late 2014.

Critical Research Insights

  • Intersection safety application development has been able to draw from previous research under the Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance Systems research (CICAS) program conducted from 2005 to 2008. That initial research highlighted the gap in technology capability that the current connected vehicle efforts are addressing.
  • An analysis of crash types and their locations and proximity to roadway features and geometry provided guidance concerning the initial development of the safety applications. Two reports, Crash Data Analyses for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Communications for Safety Applications (FHWA-HRT-11-040) and Infrastructure-Based ITS Migration Study for V2I Safety Applications: Feasibility of Migrating Safety Countermeasures to a V2I Cooperative System, were shared with the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to develop a prioritized list of high impact safety applications.

Next Steps

  • Complete Performance Requirements and Test and Validation Procedures for the V2I Safety applications.
  • Refine prototyped safety applications in a controlled test area to permit further Field Operational Testing.
  • Conduct Field Operational Tests for a few selected V2I Safety Applications at regional connected vehicle testbeds.

Track 3: Infrastructure Planning and Policy

Research Accomplishments

  • Initial analysis of what critical policy and institutional issues may challenge V2I implementation has been compiled as part of the Policy research efforts.
  • The AASHTO Infrastructure Footprint Analysis, published September 10, 2014, developed a deployment plan and footprint analysis for a national connected vehicle infrastructure. This work includes policy and governance issues related to installation, operation and maintenance of a national V2I system.
  • Initial draft of FHWA’s Public Agency Deployment Guidance & Specifications completed. This set of documents and tools will help state and local agencies to plan and make the financial and operational commitments needed for successful deployment of V2I.
  • FHWA Outreach program started. Technology outreach is a major goal of the ITS V2I team. The main goal of this task is to educate FHWA division offices about Connected Vehicle technologies, in particular V2I technologies and application with respect to safety, mobility and environment issues. Additionally outreach tools will be developed that can be used to promote V2I to State departments of transportation (DOTs) and local and Tribal agencies.

Critical Research Insights

  • Discussion with stakeholders and initial analysis finds that the implementation of an infrastructure component for the connected vehicle program will face policy and workforce challenges: The technology is significantly different from typical ITS applications and the installation and maintenance will require new workforce skills.
  • It is not clear whether V2I technologies will create new issues with regard to tort liability for State and local agencies or whether operating agencies are protected through similar immunities offered with the operation of traffic signals.
  • Key risks for access management and control of the system enabling the safety applications have been identified for further evaluation and definition of effective installation guidelines.

Next Steps

  • The Deployment Guidance is scheduled for publication in an initial form in fall 2015. A second draft is intended to incorporate stakeholder feedback and new research results. Updates will be frequently released to address changes and new insights.
  • Stakeholder input through meetings and workshops will further clarify existing and potential implementation and policy challenges.
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