Investigation into the Development of a Heavy-Duty Vehicle Probe Data Platform, 10-R9671

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Principal Investigators
Purser K. Sturgeon II
Erhan J. Kartaltepe

Inclusive Dates:  11/27/06 – 03/27/07

Background - Discussions with current state Department of Transportation customers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance identified that only limited truck-specific information is currently transmitted from large, heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The common vehicle data bus on these vehicles has a large standardized data set, which could be interfaced to extract and transmit this information for various off-board processing applications.

Development of a heavy-duty vehicle probe data solution will enhance the existing state-of-the-art in truck data collection and management operations by providing pertinent, near real-time truck system data for government entities as well as allow for further optimization of freight activities of commercial carriers. Probe data is transmitted via a wireless communications medium from the vehicle to a roadside infrastructure or directly to a processing center such as a traffic management, truck dispatch, or operations center. For example, data such as rollover sensor, axle speeds, axle ABS sensor, weight by axle, antilock brake status, transmission current gear, tire pressure, accumulated time of vehicle operation, total vehicle distance, engine hours of operation, engine fuel temperature, net battery current, wheel-based vehicle speed, maximum vehicle speed, trip specific data, work light switch, hazard light switch, wiper information, seat belt buckle switch, trailer weight, and gross combination vehicle weight is available for collection while a truck is in operation.

Approach - To accomplish the acquisition and transmission of this data, the project team developed a prototype system with a Controller Area Network (CAN) controller and global positioning system receiver that transmitted Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1939 specific data from a heavy-duty vehicle to a receiving application. The receiving application represented a traffic operations center. SAE J1939 is a specification based on the CAN data link layer established in ISO 11898-1 used for communication and diagnostics on heavy-duty trucks in the United States and has been widely adopted by diesel engine manufacturers. SAE J1939 contains a much larger data set of standardized information than is available off the CANbus of most passenger vehicles. A limited investigation of alternate transmission media was also performed to assess the feasibility of using a paging service or possibly a DOT or commercial carrier’s radio communication system.

Accomplishments - A heavy-duty vehicle probe data platform was developed consisting of:

  • A small integrated prototype that could be used in a heavy-duty vehicle as a platform on which to promote additional application development.
  • A J1939 software subsystem that accepts information from the deployed prototype, interprets it, and delivers it to appropriate subscribers of the information.
  • A map interface for operators in government or commercial centers to manage the vehicle through relevant J1939 information.

This project resulted in the development of methodologies for integrating SAE J1939 probe and diagnostic data into a lightweight infrastructure as a complete distributed system.

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