A Federal report highlights best practices for ITS programs that plan to implement connected vehicle (CV) technology.

Guidance for short-, medium-, and long-term transportation planning efforts.

Date Posted

Effects on Intelligent Transportation Systems Planning and Deployment in a Connected Vehicle Environment

Summary Information

This report summarized recommendations from states, MPOs, and local agencies regarding the development of planning timelines to support connected vehicles deployments across the country. Technologies and potential impacts are identified as short-term (0 to 5 years), medium-term (5 to 20 years), or long-term (over 20 years) to help agencies incorporate these technologies into planning products, and improve decisions regarding O&M and the replacement or retirement of ITS assets.

A connected vehicle (CV) environment enables wireless communications among vehicles (vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V), infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I), and mobile devices (sometimes called nomadic devices). Vehicles include light vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, and transit vehicles. Pedestrians or bicyclists can carry mobile (nomadic) devices, allowing vehicles and infrastructure to communicate with other CV participants and vice versa (vehicle-to-anything, or V2X).

To provide context to the expanding scope and relevance of connected and automated vehicle technology the authors referenced the results of a Delphi survey of transportation professionals which projected that on average, automated vehicle technology will be available in the United States by 2021 (with a two-year standard deviation), and that there will be a 20 percent penetration rate in the United States market by 2033 (with a six-year standard deviation).

Lessons Learned

The following are several recommendations presented in the report that highlight the range of issues agencies need to consider within short-, medium-, and long-term transportation planning efforts:

For near-term:

  • Develop and maintain a Concept of Operations (ConOps) that baselines the characteristics of the proposed system and identifies the roles, features, functions, and communications needed.
  • Explore partnerships with neighboring and overlapping agencies/jurisdictions to support seamless interoperability.
  • Engage a wider variety of stakeholders including vehicle and telematics manufacturers as well as cybersecurity firms.
  • Plan for increased data quantities and third party support in areas of data security.
  • Identify any existing regulatory and/or legal hurdles to CV investment and testing.

For medium-term:

  • Work with signal control vendors to develop upgrades necessary to support CV interfaces and Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) messaging and data collection.
  • Plan for strict security policies and procedures for all systems and users of the CV systems and networks.
  • Develop data monitoring and feedback mechanisms to observe and understand the impacts existing CV deployments have on performance and operations.
  • Maintain outreach with advisory panels and study groups, and participate in conferences to keep up to date with industry developments relevant to operations and planning.
  • Use the ConOps to help manage operations and define thresholds for phasing out obsolete technology, and determine how roles and responsibilities may change among agency staff and contractors.
  • Educate the public on opportunities to use CV systems with in vehicle systems and participate in developing programs.

For long-term:

  • Develop a communications master plan to support their traffic control systems and CV backhaul.
  • Expect technology refresh efforts. CV technology is likely to require large scale upgrades or even equipment replacement as the communications technology evolves.
  • Expect Roadside Unit (RSU) infrastructure to require significant O&M.
Goal Areas

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