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21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Effects on Intelligent Transportation Systems Planning and Deployment in a Connected Vehicle Environment

Chapter 4. Connected Vehicle Impacts of Peripheral Intelligent Transportation System Functions

This chapter presents findings for the more peripheral Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) functions defined in the research. These areas are either broader in scope or less directly relevant to ITS operations. There is greater uncertainty in what these technologies will look like and what role ITS will play in them. As a result, these areas include more generalized descriptions than those for the core ITS functions.

Other Traffic Management Strategies

There are some ITS services that can be considered in multiple or other categories, and which have an important effect on transportation networks.

  • The first service considered is electronic toll collection. Connected Vehicle (CV) technologies could enhance electronic toll collection significantly through communication with infrastructure devices. This solution could significantly enhance freeway management strategies—enabling a simpler and more efficient operation of toll lanes or congestion pricing schemes.
  • Truck parking information systems may also benefit from proliferation of CV technology.
  • CV technology could also potentially enhance implementation of more sophisticated ITS strategies such as Integrated Corridor Management and Dynamic Traffic Management.

For the most part, these strategies combine elements of the basic functions identified in chapter 3 under Freeway Management Systems. Other solutions considered in this category include possible enhancements to roadside lighting systems and railroad grade crossings. Research on these topics continues to explore possibilities in these areas, but CV may be a factor that enhances their effectiveness, and thus their adoption—although not a major driver in CV deployment.

Vehicle Safety

Perhaps the most important impact of CV relates to enhancements in vehicle safety. Although these capabilities may not directly impact agencies' operations, their implementation may have a significant effect on traffic safety, ultimately enhancing traffic safety and improving general mobility conditions. ITS Architectures consider a number of market packages in this category, including collision warnings, lateral and longitudinal control, emergency braking, and vehicle monitoring, among other services, all of which can be potentially enhanced with CV capabilities. For the most part, these technologies would likely be implemented by manufacturers and vehicle fleet owners through purchase of new vehicles or retrofitting of older vehicles. It is anticipated that early adopters of these technologies will be vehicle fleets, including large trucks, delivery vehicles, taxis/rideshare vehicles and rental cars. With consumer options in these areas increasing, however, the pace of adoption among various sectors is not clear. Some of the significant impacts on ITS are described in chapter 3 and include:

  • The ability to send targeted messages directly into vehicles could reduce and ultimately eliminate the need for traveler information services such as 511, Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) and Dynamic Message Signs (DMS).
  • Roadway infrastructure required for CV and Automated Vehicle (AV) security, as well as communications, could constitute a new responsibility for ITS and operations personnel.
  • Truck platooning has the potential for early adoption. This may require new operating policies (i.e., number of trucks allowed in platoon, minimum headway requirements for changing lanes or exiting freeways).
  • As CV- and AV-equipped vehicles increase their market penetration, agencies may consider the implementation of exclusive lanes. These lanes could be reduced in width but would require technology to assure that only properly-equipped vehicles are allowed in. This may be a new operating responsibility for ITS and operations personnel.

Connected Vehicle Technology

The final category analyzed includes topics found in research related to complementary ITS applications intrinsic to CV technology. CV has the potential to enhance ITS operations in other modes of transportation, like powered two-wheeled vehicles and pedestrians. CV capabilities could enhance ITS interoperability as well. As vehicle safety technology continues to roll-out, and adds CV communications capabilities, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication has potential for many applications. An example of this capability could include in-vehicle collision warning alerts shared with downstream vehicles, further enhancing safety conditions on the road. The same capabilities are currently being researched regarding data collection and dissemination. As CV may provide an important source for traffic information, it has the potential to further enhance data collected by collecting trip origin-destination information, assuming agencies can resolve data privacy issues, which could be valuable to planning agencies.

The link between CV and AV is also significant. CV has the potential to enhance vehicle cooperative mobility, which can be seen in truck platooning capabilities. This capability can also be envisioned with automobiles, as researchers discuss potential capabilities for vehicle platooning, adaptive speed harmonization, and collaborative merging strategies. CV could be the gateway for such features, which could be part of future vehicle technologies like AV.

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