Effects on Intelligent Transportation Systems Planning and Deployment in a Connected Vehicle Environment
Chapter 1. Introduction
The objective of this project was to assess the impacts of connected vehicle technology on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) planning processes and deployment. This report identifies and analyzes how connected vehicle technology could be considered in the ITS planning process and subsequent implementation; and investigates the need for new or enhanced tools, techniques, and data to support ITS planning and operations activities. This report also assesses the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and needed organizational skills, expertise and capabilities to carry out ITS planning, deployment, management, operation, and maintenance in a connected vehicle environment. The results of this work include suggested activities to assist transportation agencies with better preparation for the potential impacts, operational and maintenance activities, and resource and system needs related to ITS planning in a Connected Vehicle (CV) environment, as well as with better decisionmaking for the replacement of current ITS assets and investments in future ITS assets.
Chapter 2 of this reports defines and provides a brief overview of the ITS services covered in this report. The categories follow those used in the Literature Review Report prepared for this project (Effects on Intelligent Transportation Systems Planning and Deployment in a Connected Vehicle Environment, Literature Search Report, prepared by Cambridge Systematics for FHWA, January 2017) and include basic ITS functions such as traveler information, freeway management, and arterial management as well as functions that are currently peripheral to ITS practitioners but may, in the future, become more mainstream. These might involve CV and Automated Vehicle (AV) technology and include, for example, deployment and maintenance of roadside units to support security and data management. Chapter 3 summarizes potential impacts of CV technology on the basic functions while chapter 4 includes a similar analysis for peripheral functions. Chapter 5 summarizes recommendations for ITS practitioners to address the impacts identified in the report.
ITS is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) as "the integration of advanced communication technologies into the transportation technologies and vehicles. Intelligent transportation systems encompass a broad range of wireless and wire line communications-based information and electronics technologies." (Definition obtained from the U.S. DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office.)
ITS planning and deployment involve the design and implementation of this technology to provide better services to users and reduce negative impacts on the environment. ITS technologies encompass all transportation modes, from pedestrian activities to freight movement. By implementing technologies over a region, the mobility and accessibility of the region can be enhanced, helping users go to where they want to go, when they want to, in a safer and more reliable manner.
FHWA requires all States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) wishing to use Federal funding for ITS to have an ITS architecture (23 CFR 940 (FHWA Rule 940). An ITS architecture is a structured guideline to plan, define, and integrate ITS technology in a region or a State. Architecture development involves participation from a range of stakeholders including Federal agencies, State and regional agencies, local municipalities, and advocacy groups. The structured framework of an ITS architecture allows communication across regions and smoother incremental ITS deployment. ITS architectures include a hierarchy of functions under which there are sub-functions and specific technologies. Freeway management systems, for example, include a range of activities that involve facilities such as Traffic Management Centers, specific functions such as ramp metering, and supporting technologies such as fiber optic communications. ITS architectures can provide a good organizational structure for addressing the impacts of CV technology on ITS.
A CV environment enables wireless communications among vehicles (vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V), infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I), and mobile devices (sometimes called nomadic devices). Vehicles include light vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, and transit vehicles. Pedestrians or bicyclists can carry mobile (nomadic) devices, allowing vehicles and infrastructure to communicate with other CV participants and vice versa (vehicle-to-anything, or V2X). The information shared through these communications may include the following:
The U.S. DOT has been active in CV research over the past several years. A major demonstration project was conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan that involved nearly 3,000 V2V-equipped vehicles and a number of infrastructure deployments. The focus of that project was on the communication of safety messages between vehicles and between vehicles and the infrastructure. The project has been expanded into a larger demonstration which is now underway. (Anne Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment) In addition, the U.S. DOT has funded three pilot sites—in New York City, NY; Tampa, FL; and the State of Wyoming—that will further test Connected Vehicle deployment. These demonstrations will expand beyond the testing of technology to specific applications related to signal control, non-motorized user safety, emergency response, traveler information and weather information, among others. The first lessons from the demonstrations are beginning to come in, but these mainly focus on the development and implementation process. The results of actual deployment will be very helpful to ITS and operating agencies in the evaluation and deployment of supporting CV technology. Information on the benefits of different applications and the costs and actions required to implement them will provide important guidance. These projects are due to be deployed during 2018 and will be in operation for 18 months thereafter collecting data to evaluate the benefits and costs.
AVs are vehicles in which at least some aspect of a safety-critical control function (e.g., steering, throttle, or braking) occurs without direct driver input. Although it is expected that both CV and AV technologies will provide the vehicle and the driver with a greater awareness of their surroundings, they are different in that AVs, unlike CVs, rely on on-board sensors to collect information about the vehicle’s surroundings and to operate the vehicle. While AV technology can be implemented without the ability to communicate with other vehicles or roadway infrastructure, higher levels of automation will likely need CV technology to achieve their full potential. Thus, when discussing connected/automated vehicles (C/AV), this report refers to automated functions that fuse the data from on-board sensors with the data stream from CV technologies.
AV technology, with its access to vehicle control functions, will be controlled by vehicle manufacturers rather than by public agencies and State DOTs; however, public agencies will influence the operations of AVs on public roads (e.g., licensing, insurance requirements, and permitted conditions for testing). While AV deployment may occur without significant involvement by the public sector, vehicle manufacturers are working towards a convergent solution, with CV systems playing an important role in enabling AVs.
A transportation system consisting primarily of highly automated vehicles may be decades away, but partially automated solutions assisted by V2V and V2I applications will be available sooner. For example, V2I systems can provide information on real-time traffic conditions, queue warnings, and Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) to enable proactive responses by AVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has accepted the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defined six levels of vehicle automation, building off of current driver assistance technologies such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and left turn assist. The descriptions of the six levels are listed below with additional graphics included in the SAE’s summary. Various combinations of levels 0, 1, and 2 are operating on the road today.
The transportation community has issued widely varying timelines as to when users can expect the remaining levels of automation. In 2016, Serbjeet Kohli and Luis Willumsen presented the results of a Delphi survey on the field of AV transportation. The results show that on average, transportation experts expect that AV technology will be available in the U.S. by 2021 (with a two-year standard deviation), and that there will be a 20 percent penetration rate in the U.S. market by 2033 (with a six-year standard deviation).
This research identified and analyzed how CV technology could be considered in the ITS planning process and subsequent deployment. It also assessed the need for new or enhanced tools, techniques, and data to support ITS planning and operations activities while reviewing the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. These studies included detailing the organizational skills, expertise and capabilities needed to carry out ITS planning, deployment, management, operation and maintenance in a connected vehicle environment. A roadmap and guidance are provided to aid transportation agencies with better preparation for the potential impacts; operational and maintenance activities; resources and potential system needs; and decisionmaking for the replacement of current ITS assets as well as investments on future ITS resources.
This research relies on information collected through a literature search and outreach to the Transportation Management Center Pooled Fund Study committee members. Generally speaking, CV technologies may impact ITS and operations by:
Throughout the relatively short history of ITS, infrastructure procurements and operations planning have had to consider the impact of rapidly changing technology. Historically this has included areas such as video monitoring, introduction of advanced traffic signal controllers, and new communications technologies. An important consideration moving forward is that CV technology may impact investment decisions related to transportation operations. Over time, Transportation Management Centers (TMC) and ITS systems could change dramatically, with the timeframe largely dependent on the adoption of technology by private citizens and fleet operators.
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration