Invest in Digital/Smart Infrastructure, Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure, and Policies and Regulations for Successful Deployment of Intelligent Mobility Strategies.

Comprehensive Report on Potential Implementation of Smart Technologies for Tennessee DOT Leads to Lessons Learned Regarding Readiness and Guidelines for Emerging Technologies.

Date Posted

Connected and Automated Vehicles Investment and Smart Infrastructure in Tennessee

Summary Information

This study aimed to assist the State of Tennessee in preparing for future intelligent mobility strategies that include Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV), electric vehicles (EV), multimodal personal and freight movements. To assess the value of intelligent mobility strategies in Tennessee, this study explored several focus areas, including physical infrastructure, digital/smart infrastructure, EV and charging infrastructure, policies and regulations, and associated public knowledge and acceptance. The researchers compared the Dedicated Short-Range Communication Vehicle-to-Everything (DSRC V2X) and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) standards for vehicle communications and explored the transition from DSRC V2X to C-V2X technology. The study also reviewed smart corridor projects across the US that have implications for intelligent mobility in Tennessee. This study also supported Tennessee DOT's (TDOT) future efforts in terms of readiness for data collection, data analysis, and the use of simulation for emerging CAV technologies. 

  • Invest in digital/smart infrastructure, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and policies and regulations for successful deployment of intelligent mobility strategies. For example, investing in C-V2X equipment installation solutions is key to fully realizing the potential benefits of intelligent mobility, with a focus on smart infrastructure.
  • Divide traffic signal operations into regions and apply a tiered approach to define the level of remote monitoring and field presence required for each intersection. Programs similar to Georgia DOT’s "SigOps program" is suggested by supporting local agencies wishing to implement connected vehicle technologies. For example, dividing traffic signal operations into regions supported by a separate consultant contract and dedicated funding will enable all signals to be remotely monitored automatically.
  • Focus on readiness for emerging technologies, including data solutions. In this regard, it is important to invest in conducting interviews/surveys of various stakeholders, including DOT division directors and staff in terms of their readiness for CAV and synergistic technologies, including electric vehicles. CAV data solutions can include 1) hosting data at city traffic management centers (TMCs) or universities or 2) hosting data at regional TMCs (data lakes). Increasing connectivity between the regional and city TMCs is also needed, especially for traffic signals.
  • Manage and harness CAV data. It is important to identify CAV data needs and types of data, data analytics and cybersecurity investments for streaming data generated by CAVs. Additionally, it is recommended to develop data management plans.
  • Invest in the successful operation and evaluation plans of smart corridors. This would enable DOTs to transition smoothly into deploying emerging technologies and ensuring that they can operate effectively. Actions such as implementing roadside units and on-board unit devices in the field, collecting, processing, and utilizing new forms of CAV data, and evaluating the impacts of these improvements can be taken to fully leverage new applications and inform future transportation projects.
  • Synergize transportation infrastructure with electric vehicle infrastructure. DOTs can pay particular attention to deploying EV infrastructure, including installing cutting-edge EV charging stations for smart corridors. In addition, identifying improvements in roadway, digital, and EV infrastructure technologies through ITS architecture service packages is suggested for implementation.
  • Establish and support regional or city pilots and testbed corridors. Such testbeds would provide greater opportunities to explore CAV impacts on diverse road users, especially vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, scooters, and motorcyclists. These testbeds would also benefit DOTs in testing communication technologies and applications. Furthermore, more investments in "virtual testbeds" through simulation such as digital twins and the use of simulation software can be valuable for CAV data integration and processing, anticipating future scenarios, and performing sensitivity analysis.
  • Collect new forms of data-Basic Safety Messages (BSM). Equipping fleet vehicles with DSRC V2X or C-V2X devices and collecting microscopic level BSM data from CAVs can be very helpful in evaluating the performance and effectiveness of user service applications such as curve warning or red-light violation warning.
  • Make innovative use of CAV data. DOTs can use new data sources related to CAVs to support planning activities and assess modeling tools and the methodology they are applied to reflect future uncertainty about CAV adoption, including developing transportation models based on CAV data to accurately estimate transportation system performance and develop proactive and multimodal transportation management plans.
  • Enhance readiness in physical roadway infrastructure. This would require several aspects to be considered by the DOTs, including identifying road sign issues and addressing them so that CAVs can read the signs properly, the use of smart cameras, increasing the width of pavement markings and improving signs, where needed, for CAV deployment to enhance their visibility. 
  • Enhance readiness in digital infrastructure. DOTs can allocate more resources to workforce development in emerging technology and enhancing cybersecurity. In addition, real-time traffic and CAV data dashboards can be developed to improve the ability of Traffic Management Center operators to access and harness the data. 
  • Enhance readiness in EV infrastructure. DOTs should consider adopting a zero-emission vehicle program, which includes several types of alternative fuel vehicles.

Keywords Taxonomy: