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Report: US extending connected vehicle pilot program in Ann Arbor

The Detroit News reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is extending the major connected vehicle pilot project in Ann Arbor (earlier post) by another six months, but won’t change its timetable for deciding whether to move forward with the new technology.

Conducted by University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the Safety Pilot Model Deployment is a first-of-its-kind test of connected vehicle technology in the real world. The approximately 3,000 test cars, trucks and buses, most of which have been supplied by volunteer participants, are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices (collectively, V2X) that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes.

NHTSA intends to use the results from the vehicle to vehicle safety pilot to decide by the end of year whether to advance the technology through regulatory proposals, additional research, or a combination of both.

CVRIA. On 30 April and 1 May 2013, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS-JPO) of the US Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted a workshop to describe the need for and scope of the Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA), describe the process associated with developing a CVRIA, and to describe why and how stakeholders should provide input and guidance to CVRIA development.

The workshop began with a definition of what a connected vehicle reference implementation architecture is and what it does/results in for various participants (for example, it is a tool for determining where standards are needed, a tool for identifying where policy issues are resident and need to be addressed, a blueprint for stakeholders to guide decisions about local implementations). The workshop then focused on presentation of each of this CVRIA effort’s three main outputs.

  • Architecture Development: The majority of the two-day agenda walked participants through six examples of connected vehicle applications to allow them to understand how an “architecture view” is constructed and the source materials used in construction; and to elicit comments, questions, and feedback. Each application was presented through a set of up to 7 different diagrams (showing the enterprise, physical, and functional views of the application during installation, operations, and maintenance).

  • Standards Plan Development: Following the discussion on architecture applications, the CVRIA team described a process for identifying and prioritizing interfaces for standardization. To enable successful implementation and operations of a connected vehicle environment, implementers will require the identification of where standards will be needed as well as architecture guidelines. Prioritization of where the USDOT might best apply its limited resources to support standards development will be necessary. Participants had questions on the analytical process of prioritization that the CVRIA team will clarify. Participants also commented on the need to pay attention to intellectual property rights as well as to ensure that private, proprietary interfaces do not become de facto standards.

  • Policy Analysis: The CVRIA team described the need for connected vehicle policy analysis that will be performed to identify where policy issues reside and identify the types of reasonable and feasible policy mitigations, if the government needs to be involved at all. The policy analysis will allow for determination of issues such as governance and whether there are conflicting or competing interests; identification of risky or vulnerable points that require some level of access control, standards, certification, or enforcement policies; identification of points where that may be existing laws, rules, or processes that will need significant change; parameters for making decisions; and the timeframes for those decisions, especially in relation to other connected vehicle decisions.

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