Maintaining Device Anonymity While Disseminating Information
in a 3-Dimensional Plane, 10-R9661

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Principal Investigators
Steven J. Sprouffske
Michael A. Koets

Inclusive Dates:  10/01/06 – 01/01/08

Background - An overriding concern in the development of the USDOT Connected Vehicle Program is privacy. Privacy pertains not only to the vehicle information reported to the infrastructure, but also the identity of the individual driving the vehicle. Information dissemination can easily be applied not only to the traffic management community but also to military convoys for dynamic logistics and targeting, vehicle remote control, and nautical operations. Anonymity of this information protects not only the common citizen vehicle operator but also the well-being of the war fighter. A problem with current infrastructure designs is in the way the transmitting unit broadcasts information across the infrastructure. All vehicles in the receiving coverage area receive the broadcast transmission. Situations occur in complex military scenarios and roadway interchanges that require segmented destination messaging. A by-product of vehicle anonymity throughout the infrastructure is the difficulty of dynamically disseminating information based on location, relevance or importance criteria.

Approach - The project investigated the complexity, feasibility, and solutions for managing information dissemination to devices in three-dimensional scenarios while maintaining device anonymity. To accomplish this, bi-directional communications were required to identify the location of devices in the 3-D plane and disseminate information to the device. Three-D modeling was performed to provide a visual representation of the 3-D zone areas. A representative broadcast communications-based vehicle system was developed as a prototype. As a test case, the decision-making system provided in-vehicle communications based on current traffic flow conditions, defined traffic law, and event-driven conditions such as incident, work zone or school zone conditions.

Accomplishments - The project investigators modeled and developed a Doppler analysis of a complex 3-D infrastructure found in the San Antonio area. The modeling depicted vehicle communications based on location segmentation or sub-zones within a broadcast transmission coverage zone. In conjunction with this effort, project investigators developed algorithms to segment the communications zone into sub-zones based on information relevant to each particular sub-zone, anonymously geolocated devices in a particular sub-zone, and identified particular devices for direct messaging based on geolocation. A prototype was developed to prove the modeling theories using a system consisting of a Palm Treo® and an iPAQ personal data assistant, and Bluetooth GPS as the vehicle-based device. Communications were transmitted via a representative broadcast technology between the vehicle-based device and a communications infrastructure. Data received from and sent to the vehicle was displayed and enacted from a roadside infrastructure management system representative of typical traffic management systems.


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