For more than a decade, the USDOT has been researching the potential benefits of connected vehicle technology, which allows vehicles to communicate with each other, roadway infrastructure, traffic management centers, and our personal mobile devices. Using advanced wireless communications, cars, trucks, buses, and even motorcycles soon will be able to share real-time information about their speed, position, brake status, and more. Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications is the wireless exchange of data between vehicles and roadway infrastructure such as traffic signals, work zones, and toll booths. When leveraged with vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, a V2I deployment will result in significant safety, mobility, and environmental benefits that will be of significant interest to state, regional, and local transportation agencies.
1. Initiate the Planning Process: Consider how V2I communications and applications could be used to solve your problems by asking questions similar to the following:
- What applications are best suited to address critical safety, mobility, and environmental problems?
- Would the technology be able to collect helpful data on system operations?
- Where would you need to implement the equipment?
2. Update the Regional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture: Regions should start to update their ITS architecture with connected vehicles in mind. The first step is to create a connected vehicle architecture component, and the Systems Engineering Tool for Intelligent Transportation (SET-IT) was developed to help with this process.
3. Consider the Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund: The Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund Study (CV PFS) provides many states with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience dealing with V2I deployment and research issues. A state, regional, or local agency can become an official member for $50,000 and some agencies can obtain observer status at no cost.
4. Get Involved in the V2I Deployment Coalition: AASHTO formed a V2I Deployment Coalition (V2I-DC) that provides a more centralized framework for achieving comprehensive stakeholder input and owner/operator participation in order to accelerate V2I deployment activities. The V2I-DC is open to the public and has become an interface for peer interaction, webinars, research, conferences, and technical working groups (TWGs).
5. Join and/or Monitor Affiliated Testbed Activities: The USDOT’s ITS Joint Program Office (JPO) is collaborating with the industry on detailed technical issues related to connected vehicle technologies. The ITS JPO has entered into over 75 Memorandums of Agreement with public, private, and academic organizations involved in the affiliation of test beds in order to facilitate information exchange, allow organizations to share USDOT tools and resources, and encourage the consistent development of infrastructure components.
6. Purchase Certified Equipment: Three independent testing entities are developing certification processes for key information flows in the connected vehicle system architecture to ensure basic interoperability in connected vehicle installations. These testing services will be available on a fee-for-service basis.
7. Participate in Training: The USDOT’s ITS Professional Capacity Building program is developing a comprehensive training program for connected vehicle professionals that offers a broad overview of connected vehicle technology, a detailed look at their application and benefits, and information about ITS standards and communications security.