WYDOT will develop systems that support the use of CV Technology along the 402 miles of I-80 in Wyoming. Approximately 75 roadside units (RSUs) that can receive and broadcast messages using Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) will be deployed along various sections of I-80. WYDOT will equip around 400 vehicles, a combination of fleet vehicles and commercial trucks with on-board units (OBUs). Of the 400 vehicles, at least 150 will 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.
Below, the Wyoming CV Pilot team shares key lessons that were learned during Phase 1 planning activities. These are shared with USDOT and other agencies that may be endeavoring to initiate a connected vehicle related project. The lessons learned described below combine both technical and institutional elements that challenged the team the most in their efforts to plan for and develop a CV Pilot deployment.
Be Prepared for Concept Evolution. Developing the concept into an implementable project takes time and several iterations with the team. The final concept needs to balance several elements: meet defined project goals, technically feasible and consistent with national standards, be implementable, integrate with legacy systems, fit within operational constraints, identify adjustments to processes/procedures, clearly define how outputs will be received and used by stakeholders, capable to providing needed data for performance measurement.
Leverage local stakeholders and champions. Engage leadership early. Input received from local project stakeholders helped the team to understand the operational constraints and concerns of the potential system users that they needed to consider to ensure the concept reflected reality. Also, the local knowledge gained from the stakeholders helped to understand the potential project benefits which led to initial performance measures identification.
Do not underestimate the time and thought needed for Performance Measurement Development. Performance measures need to be straightforward, explainable, attempt to quantify the project benefits, and be achievable given data availability. They should be prepared with your project team, not in a vacuum, and affirmed by the project technical staff to ensure data collection is planned and feasible. Along with the measures, thought should be focused on how the measures will be evaluated and specific evaluation designs established with data needs.
Develop a good understanding of what is available from the SCMS and vendors for RSU/OBU device capabilities and software integration. The critical part of developing verifiable System Requirements with evolving standards is to have a solid set of User Needs and well-formed Concept of Operations. Developing a good understanding of what is available from the SCMS and vendors for RSU/OBU device capabilities and software integration is important to develop a system of systems that is possible to build and develop verifiable tests. As the ODE and SET-IT tools continue to evolve into production tools this process will become better defined.
Develop an approach to integrate CV pilot with existing transportation systems management and operations. Integration with existing legacy systems at the TMC enables the CV environment to become part of the overall management framework for WYDOT. By developing the interfaces to the TMC systems, the CV pilot elements exchange information with the traditional ITS systems reducing operator burdens to monitor another silo-ed technology element as part of their regular job function.
Address commercial operator’s priorities and concerns (privacy, liability, flexibility). The project development team carefully considered the commercial vehicle operator priorities and factored them early into the security and privacy concept and ultimately the system requirements. Flexibility to address the diversity of fleet operations and trucking companies is critical. By providing flexibility with the on-board equipment, WYDOT and the team were able to allow the fleet operators several options for them to be engaged in the pilot.
Plan with post-pilot operation in mind. As part of Phase 1 ConOps and system planning, WYDOT carefully considered the financial and partnership requirements beyond the pilot demonstration. Throughout the transition period, WYDOT will work in close collaboration with the Freight Advisory Council (FAC) to analyze all aspects of the project in order to ensure continuous operation and potential growth of the CV network.
Initiate Formalized agreements with private partners as soon as possible. Start with initial letters of support. With commercial partners, the level of detail required for a memorandum of understanding may not be ready in the early planning stages. Early engagement and obtaining a letter of support allowed the project team to collaboratively identify the areas of concern and work towards a MoU that will be mutually agreeable in Phase 2.
Engage procurement and contracting personnel early. With the amount of procurement necessary, WYDOT engaged their procurement and contracting personnel early in Phase I. For procurement, questions like management of inventory for on-board equipment need to be resolved early, especially when non-agency fleets are involved.
Recognize the different approaches required for Research vs. Real-Life Deployment. Unlike early connected vehicle research projects where the owners had the benefit of absolute control, the Wyoming CV Pilot involves private companies that may or may not be willing to share all their data. WYDOT’s concept had to adapt to this reality. The concept includes various trucking types (DOT fleets, partner fleets, and commercial truck fleet operators) with different levels of instrumentation as a means of balancing real-life conditions with the need for performance measurement data collection.
Balance Data Needs. The Wyoming CV Pilot must ensure the security and privacy of the participants, including personally identifiable information (PII). The Pilot also has a need for data to support performance measurement. Sometimes these two important project success factors came into conflict when planning how the team could obtain vehicle information and driver behavior to fully evaluate the success of the Pilot. The team carefully assessed what data was available and how to obtain needed data to support the performance measurement activities, all the time ensuring privacy and security of the participants. The balancing sometimes resulted in limited data collection to support evaluation.