ITS Integration Group
The ITS Integration Group develops applications and implementations that are based on the new and evolving connected-vehicle system designs being developed by the USDOT and other national stakeholders. The connected-vehicle program is a joint development among car manufacturers, state DOTs, and the USDOT to apply wireless communications to the highway system for the purpose of sharing safety and mobility information. The primary goals are to apply crash-avoidance technologies while maintaining a sustainable, efficient roadway environment.
Using these new connected vehicle technologies, the ITS Integration Group develops concepts for use, adapts requirements as needed, and evaluates expected system performance. One example of this focus has been working with the Michigan DOT to find and develop uses for the large quantities of data that will be received from the vehicles to be equipped with the connected-vehicle system.
Recent work includes the support of the initial proof-of-concept testing done in Novi, Michigan, with fifty-four dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) units spread across twenty square miles using a twenty-five-car fleet. The ITS Integration Group implemented a microscopic traffic simulator that modeled the communications protocol used on the vehicle fleet. Using this tool, the performance of the connected-vehicle system was evaluated using thousands of virtual vehicles in the system, from which numerous possible optimizations were identified and reported. This tool served as support for other projects for the Michigan DOT to evaluate possible data aggregation applications.
In a future deployment providing data from vehicles all over the state, what would a state DOT do with the data and how would a state DOT use the data effectively? To explore these opportunities, the ITS Integration Group evaluated what data needs to be collected, how often, and in what format to support initial applications of interest to the State.
Targeting road roughness and winter weather driving as initial applications, a data collection system was designed and built based on the use of a DROID PDA with its embedded accelerometer, GPS and cellular communications. This application can successfully measure road roughness automatically and report this to MDOT within five minutes. This project, when completed promises to be a substantial labor saving methodology while providing more extensive coverage than previously possible. Detection of snow fall, brake lock-up and remote road surface temperature are other data types being examined.