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SwRI operating connected vehicle affiliated test bed

6 December 2013

Southwest Research Institute is now serving as a Connected Vehicle Affiliated Test Bed, recognized by the US Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). As a Connected Vehicle Test Bed, SwRI supports public and private sector research, testing and demonstrations of innovative, next-generation intelligent transportation technologies.

A connected vehicle network—vehicles exchanging information with the highway infrastructure and other vehicles using safe, interoperable wireless communications—could improve traffic safety, mobility and environmental impacts. The DOT estimates that traffic congestion costs the US economy $87.2 billion annually, with 4.2 billion hours and 2.8 billion gallons of fuel wasted sitting in traffic. Connected vehicle applications can potentially provide transportation agencies with significantly improved real-time traffic, transit and parking data, making it easier to manage transportation systems for maximum efficiency and minimum congestion.

Advanced traffic management systems have been shown to reduce secondary collisions, mitigate congestion and, most importantly, save lives. Integrating 5.9 GHz dedicated short range communications (DSRC) infrastructure will further enhance these systems. As an affiliated test bed, SwRI will continue to serve the intelligent transportation community by conducting advanced research and development in connectivity.

—Michael Brown, a staff engineer in SwRI’s Intelligent Systems Department

SwRI is one of multiple sites across the country that will support ongoing research, development, testing and demonstration of connected vehicle applications, standards and innovative products. SwRI has numerous facilities and capabilities to support this research, including a 5.9 GHz DSRC antenna test field, a test track and dedicated intelligent vehicle laboratories.

The DOT test bed project facilitates information exchange as well as access to tools and resources across other test bed facilities to support and encourage consistent future deployment of connected vehicle technologies. The project aims to advance the technology for full deployment through information sharing and developing a common technical platform.

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