Using current procedures, early CV deployer agencies overcome challenges concerning a general lack of CV technological maturity, evolving standards and policies and technological uncertainty regarding communication technologies in their procurement of connected vehicle devices.
Agencies provide feedback identified from interviewees and their experiences with CV procurement and deployment in Connected Vehicle Procurement State-of-the-Practice Report.
Made Public Date
11/28/2018

199

Nationwide
United States
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Identifier
2018-00842

Connected Vehicle Procurement State of the Practice Assessment: Summary Findings Report (Final)

Background

For this task, the research team interviewed agency contacts that have either implemented or are planning to implement CV deployments. In total, 11 individuals/groups representing different locations and projects agreed to participate in the study and were interviewed. All interviewees had experience in procuring CV equipment for demonstration or research purposes, some in partnership with local universities and transportation research centers, or as part of broader state or national initiatives, including the Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) Challenge, the ATCMTD grant program, or the Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund Study. These agencies discussed their planned or implemented procurement approaches based on their own experiences. The participating agency contacts provided insight into those approaches and offered their views on best practices, challenges they faced or anticipated in their CV procurements, and future training and technology transfer needs. CV project managers noted that though procurement is a challenge, it is not an impediment to project success. The project managers interviewed by the research team noted that they generally had to work directly with the contracts office to ensure that RFPs and SOWs were written in a precise manner to ensure that the firms that were ultimately selected could complete the work successfully.

Select project challenges that were noted by interviewees were the FCC licensing process, lack of experience in contracting with large IT companies in state and city level projects, and broader limitations on procurement policy and its inability to meet an ever-changing and evolving technological landscape. Despite these challenges, CV project managers and stakeholders noted that none of the challenges were insurmountable. By utilizing both state and federal resources, along with assistance from their procurement/contracts office and consultant help, most projects have either been successfully implemented or are at least are beyond the design stage. Additional lessons learned, recommendations, and best practices can be found in the table below.

Lessons Learned

Category

Lesson / Best Practice
New Partnerships and Policy
  • Partner with State DOT colleagues and their contracting expertise and consultants. This can help in selecting a vendor and ensuring the right consultant is used.
  • Work closely with the ITS JPO and refer to CV Pilot Documentation for city and state level CV projects.
  • Form good relationships with local universities and have intragovernmental agreements with them where possible. Universities can provide research and development for CV projects and may even be able to support initial testing of CV equipment.
  • For FCC licensing, use a state-level expert who understands the FCC licensing process. This can greatly reduce the time and effort needed to receive final FCC approval.
Category
Federal/Other CV Resources
  • Make use of CV resources offered by the ITS JPO, FHWA, National Operations Center of Excellence, AASHTO, etc.
    • Staff expertise
    • Model documentation (CV pilot program, SPaT challenge resources)
    • ITS Public Data Hub
    • Participate in CV/CAV -related peer exchanges
    • Take advantage of training opportunities (ITS PCB program, webinars)
Procurement and Project Resourcing
  • Prior to releasing an RFP to RSU vendors, hold a PlugFest to test vendor equipment with your signal equipment and controllers. This allows you to immediately see which vendors are truly interoperable which will be of great assistance when a final RFP is released.
  • For CV RFPs, it is suggested to have project requirements vetted by SMEs. This can help an agency contract with better qualified consultants and ultimately receive a better final product.
  • If possible, it is recommended to have on-site and off-site CV to support the CV project. Having that expertise can be an excellent resource to verify deliverable accuracy and ensure that the program goals and system requirements are being met.
  • Budget extra time for software development and equipment testing into your initial RFP.
  • Ensure that your contracting and procurement personnel are involved from the beginning of the project.
  • Consider viewing connected vehicle services through the lens of the service provider model. The service provider model offers more flexibility in choice of technologies and deployment strategies.
  • Make sure your procurement documentation has an approach to support future technology developments and standards.
Project Development Approach
  • Plan on using an agile approach to the software and application components of the CV project, while also using the traditional systems engineering approach where applicable.
  • Use a systems manager approach with a lump sum fixed priced contract for the CV work to help reduce risk and keep project costs in check.
  • Break the project up into smaller tasks (phased approach) can help complete the project more easily.
Contract Vehicles
  • Explore contractual options beyond your own agency’s that may be available to purchase CV equipment, such as statewide IT services and communications contracts; city, county, and regional contracts; and university contracts.