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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Summary and Conclusions

This primer documents numerous opportunities for transportation operators to incorporate connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) into their integrated corridor management (ICM) programs and processes. ICM project teams can leverage their existing platforms and initiatives and invite and engage CAV stakeholders to enhance and add new capabilities to them. ICM project teams can also encourage CAV stakeholders to integrate ICM concepts into their CAV solutions. As presented in prior sections, both approaches have institutional, operational, and technical challenges to overcome. Regardless, CAV technologies and capabilities are advancing rapidly, as are the traveling public's expectations of the technology and their regional transportation operators plans to deploy it. Therefore it is appropriate for ICM stakeholders to get ready for CAV now.

Getting Ready for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Integrated corridor management stakeholders, especially transportation agencies, should begin to plan where they need infrastructure to support the needs of CAV. An asset mapping exercise can provide information to individual organizations as well as CAV stakeholders about the strengths and resources of the organization and the corridor as well as:

  • Uncovering best-case deployment scenarios for CAV partners.
  • Allowing all partners to think about how to build on their own assets and link them more efficiently and effectively.
  • Promoting buy-in, organizational involvement, ownership, and eagerness to begin working together.

A key component of CAV is communication systems. Therefore, it is important to understand and prepare the corridor's data and power networks, as well as its back office systems, to support the large amounts of data that CAVs generate and CAV mobility applications demand.

Corridors encompass multiple jurisdictions, operating agencies, and modes and therefore the ICM community has unique and practical experience in promulgating standards, whether for performance metrics or communications protocols, that enhance operations. Stakeholders should bring this experience to the CAV table and work with the CAV community to shape, adapt, or develop the policies and standards that CAV technologies and services require to operate on a corridor-wide scale.

Finally, an excellent means to get ready for CAV is simply to follow, observe, and even participate in CAV technology initiatives, programs, and pilots to learn how CAV might best apply to your ICM program.

The Benefits of Incorporating Connected and Autonomous Vehicles into Integrated Corridor Management

In summary, integrating CAV into ICM promises to greatly enhance the capability of ICM to provide its core function of optimizing transportation corridor capacity by coordinating transportation operations in response to fluctuations in network supply and demand. The benefits of this integration to CAV stakeholders are less clear cut, however. Nevertheless, such benefits must be clearly articulated in order to achieve the support and buy-in of CAV partners.

The following are the key benefits of ICM-CAV integration to ICM stakeholders:

  • A new source of highly detailed, real-time information that can improve the ICM stakeholders' understanding of the real-time and historical picture of the corridor.
  • A means to supplement or potentially obviate expensive fixed traveler information dissemination infrastructure (e.g., gantries, dynamic message signs, lane use signs).
  • A means to improve the ubiquity, precision, and individualization of traveler information dissemination to the driver or driving system by leveraging the in-vehicle interface. This allows for a more effective and dynamic ICM response generation capability. For example:
    • A greater portion of the vehicle stream can be targeted by ICM congestion management approaches.
    • Recommendations can be better tailored to specific vehicles based on their precise locations, known destinations, or other relevant characteristics.
    • Connected or automated vehicles can accommodate and enact more granular or complex congestion management response actions (e.g., precise vehicle speed changes, complex diversion routing) than could be expected from an unequipped human driver.

The following are the key benefits of ICM-CAV integration to CAV stakeholders:

  • CAV vehicle system and operators will received detailed information on the state of corridor transportation conditions (e.g., congestion, road weather conditions, incidents, incident clearing status) that would otherwise not be available. CAV systems are free to use these data to integrate into and enhance first-party services and offerings.
  • CAV vehicle systems and operators will have access to individualized operational guidance and recommendations that may improve safety, comfort, travel time and trip reliability for the CAV user.
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