Battelle, COTA demonstrating connected vehicle applications on buses
17 July 2012
Engineers from Battelle Memorial Institute, working with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) as part of the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle research program, have developed and are demonstrating a forward-collision-avoidance system for buses. Battelle is also working on similar connected commercial vehicle safety applications for Class 8 trucks (Connected Commercial Vehicle program).
Forward collision warning is one of five connected vehicle applications Battelle will demonstrate on buses as part of the US Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said Battelle transportation researcher and project manager Matt Burt. The Model Deployment will be a large-scale test of various safety applications on a variety of vehicle types driven by members of the public on public roads. (Earlier post.)
The required on-board equipment includes 5.9 GHz dedicated short range communication (DSRC) radio, DGPS receiver, Linux-based computer, safety applications, vehicle data interface, and driver vehicle interface (DVI)—a tablet computer.
The five connected vehicle applications for buses include three vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) applications and two vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications, Burt said:
Forward collision warning, or FCW (V2V). FCW detects vehicles ahead of the bus that are braking abruptly and alerts the bus driver of a potential collision. Radios on the bus also transmit messages to other equipped vehicles, alerting them of the bus’ position, speed and heading. These warnings could prevent other vehicles from rear-ending the bus.
Curve overspeed warning (V2I) is designed to warn the driver if speeds could lead to tipping over around a curve. The on-board application receives information from the roadside about geographic location, roadside geometries, environmental factors (weather factors) and combines that with vehicle information to make the determination.
Emergency electronic brake light, or EEBL (V2V). This warns the driver if he or she is approaching another vehicle that is decelerating or is stopped, but is obscured by a third vehicle.
Pedestrian warning (V2I). The pedestrian warning application alerts the bus driver to pedestrians in the crosswalk. The traffic system controller unit at the signal provides two types of information to the bus: the status of the pedestrian crossing button (push/no push) and information from above ground pedestrian detection sensors that are being deployed.
Vehicle Turning Right, or VTR (V2V). The idea here is that a vehicle, approaching from behind a bus that is stopped at the curb loading, becomes impatient and moves to the left of the bus to pass before re-entering the lane. The VTR application alerts the bus driver to the presences of a vehicle making such a movement around the bus.
The first three—forward collision warning, curve speed and EEBL—are adapted for transit buses from the work Battelle is doing on Class 8 trucks. The Pedestrian Warning and VTR applications are new and are being developed specifically for buses, Burt said.
Once the technology is tested in Columbus, Battelle will install the technology on three transit buses in Ann Arbor, Michigan to participate in the USDOT-sponsored Model deployment. Beginning in August 2012, the Model Deployment will last for a period of 12 months and is intended to test the effectiveness of the safety applications installed in the test vehicles, and the overall effectiveness of the deployed safety system capability.
The Model Deployment will include more than 2,800 light, heavy, and transit vehicles (all equipped with program-developed safety technologies), which will operate in a predefined geographic area in Ann Arbor. The goal of the deployment is to enhance the interaction of such vehicles in a real-world environment, and examine the overall interoperability, scalability, user acceptance, reliability and other implementation issues.
Ann Arbor is the culminating event. The current contract is for getting the technology developed and instrumented in Ann Arbor for one year. There are some deliverables after the 1-year pilot, such as updating designs and documentation.
Frankly, at this point, there is no final decision about where this could go. Our interest is in finding out how useful this technology is going to be to a transit operator. If there is a great deal of interest, we’ll look closely at next steps.—Matt Burt
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