Incorporating Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Into the Integrated Corridor Management Approach
The integrated corridor management (ICM) approach is based on three fundamental concepts: a corridor-level "nexus" to operations; agency integration through institutional, operational, and technical means; and active management of all available, and hopefully participating, corridor assets and facilities. Each of these concepts is described below.
Figure 3. Illustration. Connected vehicles can help to prevent crashes at busy intersections.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
A corridor-level focus on operations is a fundamental element of ICM. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) defines a corridor as a travel shed that serves a particular travel market or markets that are characterized by similar transportation needs and mobility issues. A combination of networks comprising facility types and modes provide complementary functions to meet those mobility needs. These networks may include freeways, limited access facilities, surface arterials, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities, among others. Cross-network connections permit travelers to seamlessly transfer between networks for a truly multimodal transportation experience.
Integration requires actively managing assets in a unified manner so that actions can be taken to benefit the corridor as a whole, not just a particular piece of it. Integration occurs along three dimensions:
Active management is the fundamental concept of taking a dynamic approach to a performance-based process. Integrated corridor management requires that the notion of managed corridors, and the active management of the individual facilities within the corridor, be considered. It is expected that a managed corridor will have basic ITS capabilities for most if not all of the associated networks within the corridor. While not always synonymous with improved management and operations, ITS has proven to be a significant enabler of management and operations. ITS allows for the rapid identification of situations with a potential to cause congestion, unsafe conditions, reduced mobility, etc. and then allows for the implementation of appropriate strategies and plans for mitigating these problems and minimizing their duration and impact on travel. Such "management" may take the form of improved traffic controls, priorities for transit vehicles, improved response to incidents, and improved traveler information.
The Relationship Between Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Integrated Corridor Management
ICM improves safety, mobility, and reliability and reduces emissions and fuel consumption by optimizing existing transportation infrastructure along a corridor, enabling travelers to make informed travel decisions. ICM involves a number of strategies to do this, including active traffic management, adaptive ramp metering, traveler information, incident response policies, transitonly lanes, transit signal priority, pricing and integrated payments, real-time signal coordination, and inter-agency information sharing, coordination, and collaboration. Many ICM strategies, e.g., active travel management and speed harmonization, employ advanced roadside technologies. The "hi-tech" nature of these strategies forms the basis of the relationship between ICM and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), and defines how the platforms integrate institutionally, operationally and technologically. A relationship is informed by the context in which the two entities interact. CAV has three factors that intersect and simultaneously form the basis for new mobility concepts available to the ICM community: the "car," the "industry," and the "driver."
The first two factors are inputs that shape and enable CAV ecosystems. The third is an outcome—something to expect from CAV. The three factors encompass the key touchpoint between CAV and ICM, which is that CAV aids ICM goals. How well it does that depends on how well CAV is integrated into ICM from the institutional, operational, and technological perspectives.
Best Practices for Including Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Stakeholders into the Integrated Corridor Management Approach
As a technology-driven practice, ICM is well-positioned to include the CAV community among its stakeholder. Advances in technology already drive changes in ICM, and ICM operators constantly scan the technology environment to stay on top of advancements that improve corridor performance. ICM operators also incorporate strategies that include acquiring new technologies guided by best practices that take into account the impact that new technology has on the organization, customers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Including CAV stakeholders is an extension of those practices and therefore requires steps that overlap with how ICM supports the inclusion of new stakeholders, which is described below.
The ICM community must first care about the CAV community before including it among other stakeholders. There are several arguments for why the ICM community should be interested in the CAV community as a stakeholder:
Building Champions and Stakeholders
Even when the rationale is understood, the integration of CAV into the ICM community requires support from internal and external champions and stakeholders — people and groups with a stake in the corridor and who are affected by its operations. Table 2 below defines the two groups.
Internal champions and stakeholders count both the organization's employees and its management. External champions and stakeholders include both public and private groups. It is important to distinguish between them all because each has different motives and objectives.
Building Organizational Support
Corridors are comprised of discrete organizations that, while sharing the same high-level goal (improve mobility), have separate, individual challenges that they must overcome. However, by its very nature, CAV offers solutions for meeting many ICM stakeholders' business goals, such as increasing capacity, reducing accidents, or increasing revenue. In short, internal stakeholders must see that integrating the CAV community stakeholders supports their goals too. For stakeholder agency employees, incorporating the CAV community and technologies into operations and management activities can be presented as a way to develop new technical skills or as a form of professional development with promotional opportunities. To management, incorporating CAV into existing strategies or approaches can be presented as a means to demonstrate to external stakeholders an agency management's vision about the future of transportation and their willingness to innovate to improve it. It can be presented as evidence to the community that ICM leaders are open-minded. By integrating CAV institutionally, management is at the forefront of mobility technology and applications.
While the input, involvement, and support of external stakeholders are critical, ICM champions must emphasize that employees and other internal stakeholders hold the key to successful ICM. Therefore, each organization's credibility in the eyes of external stakeholders is proportionate to the extent that its mission, goals, and values are embedded throughout the organization. If internal stakeholders believe in the agency's policies and practices and support the organization in its strategic plan to integrate CAV, the more likely external stakeholders will be to support and assist with the process.
To influence internal and external stakeholders toward integrating CAV stakeholders into ICM approaches, involve them early in the process and present the positive (i.e., professional development, improved operations, better customer service, increased regional relevance) and cautionary (customers demand it; CAV is the next way to maintain service; if you don't do it, someone else will) arguments.
Next, demonstrate that the corridor is the ideal candidate for integrating CAV because it has the assets in hand to do so; namely, the technology resources, personnel resources, and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) resources:
The Two-Way Benefits of Incorporating Connected and Autonomous Vehicles into Integrated Corridor Management
The integration of CAV into ICM offers a number of potential cross benefits to ICM operators, suppliers, and users of CAV technologies:
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration