Wyoming CV Pilot offers best practices for integrating and using data from CVs into the TMC to enhance day-to-day roadway operations.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is integrating connected vehicle technology into its statewide transportation management center under the USDOT's Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program.

Date Posted

Getting Connected in Wyoming

Summary Information

On September 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded three cooperative agreements—collectively worth more than $45 million—to initiate a design-build-test phase of the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in New York City; Tampa, FL; and Wyoming. The program is a national effort to deploy, test, and operationalize cutting-edge mobile and roadside technologies and enable multiple CV applications.

The Wyoming CV Pilot will focus on the efficient and safe movement of freight through the I-80 east-west corridor, which is critical to commercial heavy-duty vehicles moving across the northern portion of our country. Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) CV Pilot site focuses on the needs of the commercial vehicle operator in the State of Wyoming and will develop applications that use vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle to vehicle (V2V) connectivity to support a flexible range of services from advisories including roadside alerts, parking notifications and dynamic travel guidance. This WYDOT CV Pilot is expected to reduce the number of blow-over incidents and adverse weather-related incidents (including secondary incidents) in the corridor to improve safety and reduce incident-related delays. WYDOT will develop systems that support the use of CV Technology along the 402 miles of I-80 in Wyoming. WYDOT will equip around 400 vehicles, a combination of fleet vehicles and commercial trucks with on-board units (OBUs), at least 150 of which would be heavy trucks that are expected to be regular users of I-80. In addition, of the 400 equipped-vehicles, 100 WYDOT fleet vehicles, snowplows and highway patrol vehicles, will be equipped with OBUs and mobile weather sensors.

For Wyoming's CV pilot deployment, integrating and using data from CVs into the TMC was critical. The TMC is the host of traffic operations-related data, data management, and communication tools (used to send information to third parties). Functionally, the TMC is the entity in charge of ingesting, processing, archiving, and distributing information related to the day-to-day operation of the roadways managed by WYDOT, making it a natural fit for adding and managing data captured from CVs.

During the system design process, WYDOT assessed what existing external assets and internal capabilities of the TMC it could leverage, resulting in interfaces and modifications made to the TMC to support the project.

WYDOT's experience in developing and integrating data from the CVs into its TMC while considering the security, data management, and operator requirements highlighted the following practices and lessons learned.

Leverage existing open-source software to integrate CV data into the TMC. WYDOT identified current efforts to develop software and work in conjunction with the developers to integrate them into the CV pilot project. This helped save significant time and yielded a more robust system, one built on top of previous experience.

Examples of software components that were incorporated into this project are the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office's (JPO) Operational Data Environment (ODE) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Pikalert®. The ODE ingests and processes connected vehicle data from various devices—including vehicles, infrastructure, and TMCs—and distributes the information to selected components of a traffic management system (for example, data warehouses). Pikalert ingests weather data from different sources, including CVs, and generates advisories on current and forecasted road and weather conditions for a variety of users.

Focus on the interfaces. WYDOT's design approach highlighted the advantages of focusing on which interfaces the team needed to develop to send, receive, and manage electronic messages or specific CV data. This strategy helped identify the gaps in existing systems and the devices and changes needed to the TMC software and hardware platforms to enable the exchange and use of new data. WYDOT was able to sort out which ITS applications could remain as-is, which needed to be developed and deployed, and which needed modifications.

Have a "friendly" vehicle fleet (if possible). WYDOT employed security and safety procedures to eliminate the tracking of all equipment or devices used for the pilot project (for example, equipment installed on participating commercial vehicles that are privately owned). However, WYDOT was able to equip many of its own vehicles it could track and control, such as its own snowplows, enabling a more robust monitoring of the system’s operational performance, especially during the testing phase.

Translate CV data into information for the TMC. WYDOT estimates the CV pilot project produces about 50 million electronic messages per day in addition to the 1 million already being generated by variable speed limit sensors and road weather information systems. TMC operators simply cannot interpret these electronic messages in their entirety given their magnitude and format. Building from past experience, WYDOT clearly needed tools and procedures to ingest, process, and analyze CV data—more than those that exist in a research and development environment—to provide actionable data to TMC staff. The WYDOT TMC uses both the ODE and Pikalert systems to translate raw CV data, such as basic safety messages, into discrete, useful information for TMC operators.

Create user-friendly dashboards and tools to monitor performance. A clear need exists for dashboards to enable continuous monitoring of the various hardware and software that compose the CV pilot project. The dashboards serve multiple purposes for WYDOT—from providing visibility of the entire CV pilot infrastructure deployment for TMC operators to providing important data for performance measurement and becoming an effective public engagement tool (the public can see the posted messages and how many CVs have passed by the roadside units).

Create a security and data management framework. From the beginning, WYDOT envisioned a project that would follow "secure by design" principles that cover the process of forming, distributing, collecting, using, storing, and discarding data from CVs and TMC systems. To do this, the team looked at the human and technical aspects of the TMC to ensure they employed proper data management techniques. Every member of WYDOT’s project team and TMC who might have access to the data was required to pass a background check and successfully complete hours of training on ethical research and protection of personally identifiable information. Access to information is limited to those individuals who need it for their job functions.

WYDOT has employed advanced encryption of databases and in-transit data packets, along with employing firewalls, hardware security modules, and software developed by USDOT to credential authorized vehicles that participated in this project. The entire project, from vehicle to the TMC, was evaluated to ensure the latest security techniques were in place.

Involve broader State enterprise. Integrating CV data into existing systems and operations requires a team effort with different skills to plan, design, develop, modify, and test the changes needed in both hardware and software. WYDOT reached out to several departments and divisions within its institutional structure, including Telecommunications, Enterprise Technology Services (the State's centralized information technology agency), the Equipment team, and the Maintenance team, and involved them in the project early on.

Re-envision existing systems. WYDOT not only leveraged efforts by other agencies/institutions, but also looked internally at its own systems and capabilities. WYDOT already had a robust network of data users and data suppliers—with its many traveler information outlets being visited and used by thousands of I–80 users on a daily basis—an efficient data distribution system, and a secure data archiving system. WYDOT assessed each component and identified how it could improve each one to further extend the reach of the CV pilot project. For instance, WYDOT extended its Commercial Vehicle Operator Portal and modified the Transportation Report and Action Console to accommodate Pikalert's advisories and alerts. Similarly, WYDOT upgraded its incident and construction consoles to automate processes, improving its integration and management of CV data.

Develop a critical path for development. Wyoming's project deployed five applications on devices installed in vehicles along with updates to several components to WYDOT's traffic management and traveler information systems. Given the varying degree of interdependencies, WYDOT used an agile development approach instead of the traditional waterfall approach (that is, in sequence) to develop this project. This enabled WYDOT to reach its goals within the tight schedule for development.

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