Connected Vehicles Concept

The concept of the Connected Vehicles (CV) program holds the promise of forever changing the way MDOT and the public-sector do business in regard to operations and maintenance. However, much work is required for connected vehicles to be implemented in the United States. The technical and institutional challenges are extensive and will require time to overcome. Furthermore, connected vehicles is not even possible without the ability for vehicles to communicate data with the roadside infrastructure, and for back-haul communications to potentially carry this vast amount of data to control centers or other central locations. Once data is communicated to the infrastructure, the data can be shared, fused, packaged and disseminated from a wide range of providers to a wide range of users.

The three key subsystems being evaluated as part of this program are:

  • On Board Equipment (OBE) - The components installed in vehicles which may or may not include integration with the various vehicle systems. This equipment includes the wireless communications in the vehicle, including the components necessary for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications.
  • Road Side Equipment (RSE) - The components installed along the roadside, specifically the wireless communications necessary for vehicle to infrastructure (V2I).
  • Network Subsystem - The backhaul or network necessary to connect roadside devices to one another and to connect roadside devices to the various central processing locations.

The Connected Vehicles Test Bed Program will provide opportunities for MDOT, industry and academia to test a range of products and technologies associated with the technical feasibility related to:

  • Intelligent vehicles collecting data
  • Intelligent vehicles communicating the collected data to infrastructure
  • Intelligent vehicles receiving data

In addition, the Connected Vehicles Test Bed Program will:

  • Archive collected data for the purpose of allowing stakeholders to research and develop the means to fuse, package and disseminate information to other users (e.g., Independent Service Providers, telematics, etc.) and infrastructure (e.g., CCTV cameras, dynamic message signs, etc.) in support of their agency or organization's goals and objectives
  • Develop a scalable approach that allows for other stakeholder participation and the creation of additional test beds

In short, the Connected Vehicles Test Bed Program will provide a real-world laboratory to test a range of products and technologies and foster the development of new technologies and applications. The testing phases include an evaluation of the subsystems, applications and proving the concept of Connected Vehicles in a real-world testing environment. The longer-term vision of the test bed is to evaluate full use cases for Connected Vehicles that require either advanced technologies or a higher level of saturation of Connected Vehicles-enabled vehicles in the vehicle fleet.

The Connected Vehicles program is intended as a complementary program to efforts in California, Minnesota and Florida, along with international efforts in Ontario, Canada and Wales, United Kingdom, aimed at providing an incubator for testing of a variety of on board and road side elements and applications. One primary goal of the program is the sharing of findings and experiences with others in order to further the full realm of Connected Vehicles research and development. The lessons learned as part of the Connected Vehicles program are intended to feed into the forthcoming formal Field Operational Tests being proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.