The average cost to upgrade backhaul telecommunications to support a DSRC roadside unit for V2I applications is estimated to vary from $3,000, if the site has sufficient backhaul and will only need an upgrade, to $40,000, if the site requires a completely new backhaul system.

A GAO review of V2I research documentation.

Made Public Date


United States

Summary Information

This report provided cost estimates for planning, acquiring, and installing infrastructure and equipment needed to support dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems in the United States. Communications links (such as fiber optic cables or wireless technologies) between roadside equipment and the local or state back office, private operator, or traffic management center are referred to as the "backhaul network."

The following cost data were gathered from AASHTO, NCHRP, and USDOT research reports.

Backhaul Telecommunications

Costs for backhaul systems varied greatly depending on how much had to be upgraded with new fiber-optic technology to support connectivity between roadside equipment and traffic management centers (TMCs). The average national cost to upgrade backhaul to a DSRC roadside site was estimated to vary from $3,000, if a site had sufficient backhaul and would only need an upgrade, to $40,000, if the V2I site required a completely new backhaul system to be installed.

Roadside Equipment

Costs for roadside equipment was estimated at $7,450 per site, with $3,000 attributed to each roadside unit (RU), on average.

In-vehicle Equipment

In-vehicle equipment required for V2I communications was estimated to cost $341 to $350 per vehicle by 2020, decreasing to $209 to $227 by 2058 as the technology matures and competition increases.

Recurring Costs

Recurring costs for V2I systems included equipment maintenance and replacement, security, and personnel costs. Routine maintenance for roadside units was estimated at 2 to 5 percent of the original hardware and labor costs. This recurring maintenance would include realigning antennas and rebooting hardware. Equipment lifetime was estimated at 5 to 10 years.

Security credentials management system (SCMS) costs were identified as potential recurring costs. Initial SCMS cost estimates ranged from $1 to $6 per vehicle, with an average cost of $3.14 per vehicle. SCMS costs would likely increase over time due to the need to support an increasing number of vehicles in the system.

System Cost

See summary

System Cost Subsystem