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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Opportunities and Challenges to Integration

There are numerous opportunities for integrating connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) into an integrated corridor management (ICM) process. ICM project teams can leverage existing platforms and initiatives to engage CAV stakeholders and incorporate CAV technologies and strategies into their ICM concepts. However, there are also challenges associated with connecting ICM and CAV. The following sections will explore institutional, operational, and technical opportunities and challenges in more detail.

Institutional Integration

Institutional integration involves coordination and collaboration between various agencies and stakeholder groups in support of ICM, including the distribution of specific operational responsibilities and the sharing of control functions in a manner that transcends institutional boundaries. Understanding who the CAV stakeholders are—and what their goals are—is the first step in identifying the right individuals to engage in ICM.

Shared goals should generate benefits to mutual stakeholders. Ideally, this is a two-way street. Figure 3 shows the sets of benefits from both ICM and CAV and where they may overlap. The following describes some of the benefits that are typically associated with ICM deployments, but which also may be accrued by CAV deployments:

Table 3. Bringing together integrated corridor management and connected and autonomous vehicle stakeholders.
Entity Description Role Benefit of CAV Integration
Public Agency
  • Federal, State and regional public agencies.
  • Departments of transportation and motor vehicles, metropolitan planning organizations, port authorities, the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
  • Public safety agencies.
  • Transportation operators.
  • Responsibility for emergency transportation operations.
  • Implement and execute response strategies as conditions change.
  • Provide real-time data on conditions to inform evacuation decisions and routes, the response to be implemented, the equipment and personnel needed.
  • Enable communication about ICM conditions, closures, priority.
  • Real-time information to provide visibility on facility conditions and inform decision making and agency coordination.
Private industry
  • Any company who interacts with traveler (driver or rider) via devices.
  • Vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers.
  • Cellular carriers.
  • Phone manufacturers.
  • Application makers.
  • Systems and technology vendors (e.g., IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Hitachi).
  • Privacy stakeholders (e.g., Electronic Frontier Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Federal Communications Commission).
  • Insurance industry.
  • Communication with travelers.
  • Enabling communication.
  • Development, sales and marketing for devices, software and applications.
  • Integrating systems.
  • Data aggregation and protection.
  • Reduction of aggregate premiums (as fewer cars are driven by individuals — thus reducing collisions and claims.
  • Determination of insurance rates at a granular level (as enabled by the concept of "usage-based insurance" and aftermarket devices such as the OBD-II port- plug-in "fobs" from insurance providers.
Research Community
  • Universities and university transportation centers (MIT, Stanford).
  • Non-Profits.
  • Privately funded research initiatives (e.g., Google, Apple, Uber).
  • Experimentation.
  • Simulation and testing.
  • Commercialization.
  • Neutrality — The unique capacity for interdisciplinary research and impartiality, this community allows private sector and public sector CAV stakeholders — engineers, computer scientists, policy makers — to collaborate and innovate in a neutral setting.
  • Capacity building — working on complex real-world problems, universities provide students with meaningful CAV-related educational and research experiences needed by both public and private stakeholders.
CAV = connected and autonomous vehicle, ICM = integrated corridor management, MIT = Massachusetts Institute of Technology, OBD-II = on-board diagnostic system

The long list of stakeholders implies a broad range of goals and objectives among them, some of which are complementary and some not. Whether goals and objectives are complementary or at odds depends on the purposes behind an important feature of CAV—the collection of rich, deep, real-time data. For ICM, CAV is about improving the performance of the corridor. For many CAV stakeholders, it is often about creating additional touchpoints with travelers and designing, marketing, and offering location-based or subscription commercial services. This is where the data privacy issue appears: where does the ICM operator sit in the debate? Who is responsible for CAV data if the "app" that collected it "occurs" on, or is provided by, an ICM facility.

Opportunities for Institutional Integration

CAV stakeholders include those who provide CAV technology and services to the traveling public, and the traveling public who use them. When these stakeholders interact with an ICM corridor, their respective goals and objectives can intersect. In order to gain buy-in and support from CAV stakeholders, ICM project leaders should be prepared to effectively articulate how ICM could help achieve CAV-specific goals and objectives. The goal is to go from information sharing to coordination and then to collaboration between stakeholders, agencies, and jurisdictions to produce results that surpass institutional boundaries. Logical institutional areas where ICM and CAV overlap and can be integrated include:

  • Standards: CAV technologies and communications systems are emerging, and data and message standards are developing. Now is the time to develop standards for ICM applications such as traveler information and dynamic route guidance that are both informed by CAV (and connected devices) and delivered back to the traveling public by ICM operators.
  • Security: Connectivity, from concept and design to manufacturing and the driving experience, is pervasive in the CAV community, and the next few years are poised to see even more rapid change. As CAV becomes integrated into our society in terms of travel experience, customer safety, privacy, and reliability, quality will become ever more important an engineering challenge. Quality encapsulates understanding and acting to mitigate evolving threats, secure increasingly complex systems, and adapt to creative, persistent data security threats. As a result, cyber security is a key business driver to CAV and will, by association, become one for ICM. The opportunity exists for ICM and CAV communities to collaborate on the security of data that is collected from vehicles and connected services without hindering the customer experience, which is improved by returning that data as value-added traveler information.
  • Licensing and Regulation: As CAV becomes more commonplace over time, a potentially sweeping impact on mobility will be that unlicensed travelers (senior citizens, children and others unable to drive) will be riding in CAVs. This is not science fiction. Recent steps toward this day include Volvo, which recently announced it will provide semi-autonomous vehicles in London in 2017, plus Tesla, and a Chinese company called Le Holdings Co., which will market semi-autonomous cars now. These developments show the CAV community is not waiting: major automotive and technology companies in April 2016 announced the creation of a self-driving car lobby that includes Ford, Google, Uber, Lyft, and Volvo. Therefore, as CAV evolves from a "hip" development to the point where CAV companies are seriously creating an environment that advances their vision, ICM stakeholders have the opportunity to integrate with CAV at the institutional level so that the benefits of CAV are broadly distributed.
  • Exploiting Existing Forums for Collaboration: The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) delivered more than 20 provisions that encourage innovation and accelerate researching and deploying intelligent transportation systems (ITS), including funding for the Smart City Challenge and the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. In addition to advancing CAV technologies for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge these programs encourage a cross-section of public- and private-sector stakeholders to collaborate on these test deployments, making this a logical venue for ICM to engage the CAV community on ICM and market its benefits to CAV.

Challenges to Institutional Integration

While there are benefits to both ICM and CAV stakeholders from engaging in institutional integration, there are also challenges. First, the private sector is generally reluctant to actively engage in public sector-led activities without a well-defined return on investment (ROI). It may be difficult to convince CAV stakeholders of their role in a public project if they do not know how they benefit (or may be financially hurt). Quantifying ROI is difficult when the parties define it differently, but it is also hindered by the different time horizons each sector operates under, with the public sector evaluating project success on continuums spanning 5-10 years, while a longterm outlook for CAV stakeholders is achieving positive ROI in 6-12 months.

It can also be challenging for CAV stakeholders to engage in public-sector initiatives because their planning windows are shorter and more elastic than those of the public sector. Decisions are oftentimes made at the corporate level, which requires input and approval from fewer stakeholder groups than typical for the public sector. If engaged, it can be hard to sustain CAV stakeholder commitment through the long project lifecycles characteristic of public projects. A particularly stubborn challenge with the private sector is the "time is money" argument; the amount of time CAV stakeholders have to participate in ICM research-oriented efforts is limited. This is particularly true where there is uncertainty about the schedule and the benefits that can be achieved. CAV stakeholders will not wait..

The two stakeholder groups also face challenges pertaining to the rules and regulations that are present in one community but which can unintentionally conflict with or prohibit the other community's ability to do something. The ICM community tends to prioritize "safety and reliability" whereas the CAV community's focus is on "monetization." In addition, due to the public nature of most ICM stakeholders, their tendency is to be "reactive," whereas the private nature of the CAV community makes these stakeholders more "proactive" in their approach. Finally, in terms of financing, the CAV community often perceives the ICM budgets to be comparatively unlimited compared with the more constrained budgets of the private manufacturing community.

The last challenge to ICM and CAV integration at the institutional level relates to CAV's most promising attribute: data. A key challenge to including CAV stakeholders in an ICM project is securing institutional agreements on data sharing and operations—especially among private sector CAV stakeholders, whose data are highly sensitive and proprietary. A closely related challenge is that it may be difficult to bring CAV stakeholders together due to the fact they compete with each other. The fact is that CAV stakeholders are running businesses. They may not care to share with each other, much less the ICM community.

Operational Integration

Operational integration involves implementing multi-agency transportation management strategies, often in real-time, that promote both information sharing and coordinated operations across the various transportation networks in the corridor while also facilitating management of the total capacity and demand of the corridor by multiple classes of users (e.g., single-occupancy vehicles, transit, freight). Operational integration of CAV into ICM occurs via a logical process:

  1. ICM stakeholders should identify and develop operational strategies by which individual CAV technologies and apps can be operationally integrated in their corridors. This requires analysis and evaluation tools that, if not in hand, should be created to support development of strategies and selection of those aspects of CAV to be integrated.
  2. ICM practitioners would perform a corridor resource and component inventory and use this information to identify the capabilities they have in their corridors and determine what capabilities are needed.
  3. ICM practitioners would then map the identified capabilities to the various corridor operations strategies that utilize and leverage CAV.

Opportunities and challenges are inherent in this process.

Opportunities for Operational Integration

CAV initiatives associated with ICM do exist. One such initiative at the Federal level is the USDOT Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA) Program, initiated in 2011 to expedite the development, testing, commercialization, and deployment of innovative mobility applications to maximize system productivity and enhance the mobility of individuals within the system. Notably, the DMA Program has realized broad internal and external participation, including Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office; Federal Transit Administration; the Federal Highway Administration Offices of Research and Development, Operations, and Safety; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

In the last 5 years, the DMA program has advanced numerous connected vehicle applications from the conceptual stage to prototype testbed deployments. Several of these tested applications are highly relevant to ICM and offer the potential to extend and enhance the ICM capabilities. Specifically, the following "bundles" (collections of functionally related connected vehicle applications) provide the best opportunities for ICM-CAV operational integration, as they employ connected vehicle-enabled active transportation and demand management approaches, which underlie the key operations of ICM:

  • Enable ATIS: Enable Advanced Traveler Information Systems. ICM-relevant application:
    • Advanced Traveler Information Systems – These applications represents a future operational environment that will support and enable an advanced, transformational traveler information services framework. This future framework will be enabled with a robust pool of real-time data through connected vehicles, public and private systems, and user-generated content.
  • R.E.S.C.U.M.E.: Response, Emergency Staging and Communications, Uniform Management, and Evacuation. ICM-relevant applications:
    • Incident Scene Pre-Arrival Staging Guidance for Emergency Responders (RESP-STG) – This application provides situational awareness information to public safety responders while traveling to an incident.
    • Incident Scene Work Zone Alerts for Drivers and Workers (INC-ZONE) – This application warns drivers that are approaching temporary work zones at unsafe speeds, and warns public safety personnel and other officials working in the zone through an audible warning system.
    • Emergency Communications and Evacuation (EVAC) – This application provides drivers with dynamic route guidance information, current traffic and road conditions, and the location of available lodging, fuel, food, water, cash machines, and other necessities. The application also provides users needing assistance with information to identify and locate people who are more likely to require guidance and assistance, and information to identify existing service providers and other available resources.
  • INFLO: Intelligent Network Flow Optimization. ICM-relevant applications:
    • Dynamic Speed Harmonization (SPD-HARM) – This application works to dynamically adjust and coordinate maximum appropriate vehicle speeds in response to downstream congestion, incidents, and weather or road conditions in order to maximize traffic throughput and reduce crashes.
    • Queue Warning (Q-WARN) – This application provides drivers with sufficient warning of an impending queue backup in order to brake safely, change lanes, or modify the route such that secondary collisions can be minimized or even eliminated.
    • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) – The objective of CACC is to dynamically and automatically coordinate cruise control speeds among platooning vehicles in order to significantly increase traffic throughput.
  • IDTO: Integrated Dynamic Transit Operations. ICM-relevant applications:
    • Connection Protection (T-CONNECT) – This application is used to improve rider satisfaction and reduce expected trip time for multimodal travelers by increasing the probability of automatic intermodal or intra-modal connections.
    • Dynamic Transit Operations (T-DISP) – This application is used to expand transportation options by leveraging available services from multiple modes of transportation.
    • Dynamic Ridesharing (D-RIDE) – This application offers a different approach to carpooling in which drivers and riders arrange trips within a relatively short time in advance of departure.
  • FRATIS: Freight Advanced Traveler Information Systems. ICM-relevant application:
    • Freight-specific Dynamic Travel Planning and Performance – This application will include all of the traveler information, dynamic routing, and performance monitoring elements that users need.
  • MMITSS: Multimodal Intelligent traffic Signal System. ICM-relevant applications:
    • Intelligent traffic Signal System (I-SIG) – This application uses high-fidelity data collected from vehicles through V2V and V2I wireless communications as well as pedestrian and non-motorized travelers, in order to control signals and maximize flows in real time.
    • Transit and Freight Signal Priority (TSP and FSP) – The TSP application allows transit agencies to manage bus service by adding the capability to grant buses priority based on a number of factors. The FSP application provides signal priority near freight facilities based on current and projected freight movements.

Figure depicts the flow of information from the traveler communications platform to the D-RIDE Data Center and back to the traveler communications platform.
Figure 4. Illustration. Dynamic Ridesharing (D-RIDE) communication flow.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation

It is well understood that ICM approaches are most valuable during non-recurring congestion conditions. Results from the DMA testbeds have shown that the connected vehicle applications likewise generate greatest benefit under non-recurring congestion conditions, indicating that their value in an ICM context is significant.10

Table 4. Bringing together integrated corridor management and connected and autonomous vehicle stakeholders.
Program Application Relevant Impact Assessment Results
Enable ATIS Advanced Traveler Information Systems EnableATIS seeks to transform how traveler information is collected and shared, as well as how agencies use this information to better manage and balance the transportation networks. It would also transform how travelers using the app would obtain information about their trip.
R.E.S.C.U.M.E. seeks to provide government officials conducting evacuations with greater communication with vehicles and roadside equipment, public safety personnel in the field, as well as the public itself. Public safety personnel in the field using portable communications devices will be able to provide real-time information to operations and traffic management centers, which will improve traffic and route guidance during incidents and evacuations.
INFLO will be a connected vehicle system that is both vehicle- and infrastructure-based. SPD-HARM and Q-WARN benefits are optimized when implemented as infrastructure-based applications that reside at a central entity such as a traffic management center (TMC) as the TMC system has broader visibility into the traffic state, allowing operators to implement a more proactive approach for predicting queues and congestion. The apps would also provide road users with enhanced information about the state of the transportation system, pre-trip planning, route-making, and incident avoidance.
IDTO applications will alter existing transit services in order to enhance mobility. The current transit services and communications can be fragmented, leading to insufficient protections, untimely information, and inconvenience for travelers. The IDTO apps seek to resolve these gaps and evolve the current state to offer transformative impacts while minimizing risks.
FRATIS Freight-Specific Dynamic Travel Planning and Performance FRATIS will leverage connected vehicle data and integrate existing data sources in a way that is specific to freight's unique operational characteristics, which require different data and methods/time frames for information delivery.
MMITSS will use DSRC to provide real-time knowledge of vehicle class (passenger, transit, emergency, commercial), position, speed, and acceleration on each approach. The widespread availability of wireless communications media (e.g., WiFi, 3G/4G, and Bluetooth) provide coverage for pedestrians and cyclists as well as coverage for long-range messages from vehicles that can support traffic signal system management in areas with sparse deployments of DSRC roadside equipment.
ATIS = Advanced Traveler Information Systems. DSRC = Dedicated short-range communication. FRATIS = Freight Advanced Traveler Information Systems. IDTO = Integrated Dynamic Transit Operations. INFLO = Intelligent Network Flow Optimization. MMITSS = Multimodal Intelligent Traffic Signal System Q-WARN = Queue Warning. R.E.S.C.U.M.E. = Response, Emergency Staging and Communications, Uniform Management, and Evacuation. SPD-HARM = Dynamic Speed Harmonization.

Other Federal programs that can be counted as CAV/ICM integration include the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program11 and the Smart City Challenge.12

Challenges to Operational Integration

The key underlying challenge to CAV/ICM integration is the lack of specific knowledge and familiarity between the two stakeholder groups. For the CAV community, there is often a lack of understanding and appreciation for how technology and operational strategies in general are being used to support effective integrated corridor operations. Operational scenarios in use today in ICM—such as signal timing, ramp metering, and other approaches that require coordinating freeway, intersection, transit, and freight operations—are not known (or therefore valued) by CAV stakeholders, but must be understood and embraced before ICM strategies can be combined effectively with CAV. At the same time, the ICM community may not appreciate the specific incentives, timelines, or market pressures the CAV community operates under. Some of the complex challenges to coordinating and integrating CAV into ICM at the operational level include:

  • Prioritizing Value – as referred to above, CAV and ICM stakeholder groups often do not appreciate the value of each other's initiatives, strategies, operating environments or limits. Therefore, to effectively integrate CAV into ICM, harmonization of the two communities' goals and objectives is an early priority. Achieving this will aid both stakeholder groups in securing private sector participation in public sector-led initiatives and vice versa.
  • Lack of Integration – Discrete modal and facility operations are not uncommon in corridors. This implies limited integrated network-wide operational strategies. In such a physically and operationally disaggregated corridor, the potential of CAV to contribute to seamless multi-modal mobility is limited if not impossible.
  • Differences in Analysis Capabilities – Because ICM and CAV communities have different goals and objectives (i.e., ICM stakeholders' focus on aggregate congestion mitigation vs. the CAV community's focus on a particular vehicle owner's mobility needs), the competencies and resultant tools each stakeholder employs can differ significantly and thus be difficult to integrate into a seamless, synergistic set of analytical capabilities.
  • Legal and Regulatory Barriers – The potential applications of CAV are advancing more quickly than the regulatory and legal structures that bound transportation operations. The potential of autonomous vehicles will, for example, reveal shortcomings and/or necessitate changes in the issuance of driver's licenses, insurance requirements and liability, and traffic enforcement procedures.

Technical Integration

Once stakeholders are committed at the institutional level, and operational integration opportunities are identified, prioritized, and perhaps even underway, the last step in CAV/ICM integration is technical integration. Technical integration in this context means the seamless combination of the technical elements of CAV and ICM—e.g., communications systems including data and information links and systems interfaces—and perhaps even the system operations and control functions that must be effectively shared and distributed among the various components of the new, integrated CAV/ICM network.

Opportunities for Technical Integration

The technical architecture for ICM is readily adaptable to incorporating CAV elements. Common ICM technology resources that can be extended to support a CAV environment include the ICM facility hardware, software, peripherals, wired and wireless communications, and power/data networks. ICM facility personnel resources charged with maintaining the ICM system likewise can leverage their technical, administrative, and managerial expertise to support the design, implementation, and management of new CAV technologies.

Figure depicts the flow of information for a road weather system from field conditions to RWIS to RWIS with forecasting to MDSS.
Figure 5. Illustration. Information flow for a road weather information system.
Source: CGS Plus

Specific areas of technical integration opportunity include the following:

  • Data Collection, Storage Support, and Analysis — Real-time data from CAV about corridor travel patterns can be incorporated into existing data inventories to supplement current information gaps and enhance the overall picture of conditions into the transportation network. One key area where new sources of mobile user data could provide the traditional ICM system valuable insight is in road weather information. Current road-weather information systems (RWIS) gather general temperature, precipitation, and road surface conditions information from fixed position roadside monitor stations. However, weather conditions can change quickly and are often variable across a transportation corridor, to an extent that cannot be captured by fixed RWIS stations. Mobile, weather-capable CAV can supplement traditional ICM detection, providing an enhanced and significantly more granular real-time awareness of the road weather conditions on the facility. This can enable more accurate, better targeted, and more effective corridor management response plans.
  • Traveler Information Dissemination — Utilizing its in-vehicle interface capability (to the driver or directly to the driving system), CAV can extend the en-route traveler information capabilities of ICM beyond the traditional infrastructure-based message signs. In-vehicle signing, following the standard ITS message protocols, can be used to communicate ICM messages more precisely and across a greater segment of the corridor.
  • Transportation Facility Operations — From a program example standpoint, the $50 million USDOT Smart City Challenge has seen proposals in which CAV data would be used to inform transportation facility and traffic management operations. This begs the question, how would a typical traffic management center be impacted by CAV in terms of both data coming in and information going out?
  • System and Performance Reporting — CAV has the potential to vastly improve the practice of system and performance reporting in terms of data richness and efficiency.

Challenges to Technical Integration

Challenges to technical integration include incompatible data standards, conflicting and/or incongruent data security and credentialing requirements, and a lack of cross-network device-todevice data, communication, and procedure integration. A non-technical challenge to technical integration could be data ownership (an unresolved issue) and thus data-set cost as well as privacy policies or requirements that could complicate or limit the ability to capture and use CAV-derived data.

10 J. Colyar, "DMA-ATDM Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (AMS) Testbed Project," presentation dated February 26, 2015. Available at: Return to note 10.

11 USDOT, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, "Connected Vehicles:CV Pilot Deployment Program" Web page. Available at: Return to note 11.

12 U.S. Department of Transportation, "Smart City Challenge" Web page. Available at: Return to note 12.

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