Investigating the Feasibility and Benefits of Integrating Dynamic Vehicle Probe Data into Advanced Traffic Management Systems, 10-R9582

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Principal Investigators
Steven Sprouffske
Ryan Lamm

Associate Investigators
Steven Farmer
Vinh Tran
Meredith Moczygemba

Inclusive Dates:  10/01/05 – 04/03/07

Background - The Federal Highway Administration established the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) initiative to improve safety and mobility on the nation's roadways by supporting efforts to integrate standardized traffic management communication infrastructure with vehicle systems. To accomplish this, FHWA intends to utilize the recently allocated public safety 5.9 GHz spectrum and deploy radios capable of dedicated short range communications (DSRC). The goal is to establish bidirectional communication between the nationís highway infrastructure and the vehicles that traverse them.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have historically been implemented through the distribution of geographically dispersed static sensors tied back to a central Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS). These sensors include inductive loops installed in the freeway pavement, vehicle presence detectors, weather information systems, and closed circuit television surveillance cameras. While this transportation data is extremely valuable for expressway operations and public safety agencies, it limits the system visibility to areas where the specific sensors are installed. By fusing dynamic vehicle-specific data available from the vehicle's CANbus, such as vehicle speed, air-bag deployment sensors, vehicle temperature data, vehicle brake position, etc., with these statically deployed existing sensors, the ATMS will be provided with more extensive condition data, which will offer the agencies more advanced traffic engineering and emergency response capabilities.

Approach - To investigate the feasibility and benefits of integrating dynamic vehicle probe data into an ATMS, a single board computer, with a controller area network (CAN) controller and Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, were interfaced with a test vehicle's CANbus. A software algorithm was developed to run on this single board computer to parse and format pertinent information about the vehicle's current state. This information was then transmitted across a wireless network and deployed at the SwRI test track facility to a representative roadside station. Then it was transferred via a wired network to a modified version of an SwRI-developed ATMS simulation environment.

Accomplishments - Project investigators successfully developed processes that fused GPS data with CANbus data accessed through a vehicle's diagnostics data interface. In conjunction with this effort, investigators developed applications to manage roadside communications that inject vehicle probe data with ATMS processes. Data is displayed on a user-interface mapping application. After development and testing in the lab, the team deployed a prototype system at the SwRI test track to evaluate system performance over three connectivity scenarios. Implementations proved the feasibility of integrating VII data into an existing ATMS and yielded valuable insight into how a similar system would function when deployed along a highway.

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