Nov. 13, 2008 — As a leader in intelligent transportation systems, Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) will play multiple roles in the 15th World Congress on ITS, Nov 17-20 in New York. SwRI will participate in fully integrated demonstrations showcasing Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII), vehicle-to-roadside and vehicle-to-vehicle communications applications, and innovative mobility solutions operating on the streets and highways of New York City.
"The next generation of ITS technology is focusing on saving time, resources and, most importantly, lives," said Dr. Steven W. Dellenback, PMP, director of SwRI's ITS Department. "We're solving today's problems with tomorrow's technology. In the near term, we are focusing on how to prevent vehicles from getting into accidents. In the long term, our vision of a vehicle that drives itself is well within our technology grasp."
The SwRI staff is coordinating, and participating in, an autonomous vehicle demonstration on 11th Avenue that will bring together leaders in the field of vehicle autonomy to highlight what the future of surface transportation might look like. At this venue, SwRI will demonstrate its fully autonomous, driverless ground vehicle negotiating a course in Manhattan, along with two DARPA Urban Challenge autonomous vehicles. A five-block section of 11th Avenue will be closed to traffic to allow the teams to demonstrate applications such as vehicle-to-vehicle based collision avoidance, traffic signal violation warnings and autonomous vehicle operations. Special guests will have the opportunity to be chauffeured by the driverless vehicles during the 11th Avenue theatre show demonstrations, which will take place every day of the Congress from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
"Working with our French collaborator, INRIA, we will demonstrate how an autonomous vehicle can cooperate with a human-driven vehicle using dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to share sensor data in a pedestrian warning and avoidance system," said SwRI Intelligent Vehicle Systems Manager Ryan Lamm. The SwRI-INRIA pedestrian warning demonstration will take place around 10 a.m. every day of the Congress at the 11th Avenue theater venue.
Additionally, SwRI is working with other ITS World Congress demonstrators to implement the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration test bed in Manhattan and along the Long Island Expressway, demonstrating how the next-generation ITS technology can improve vehicle safety and efficiency. The VII initiative is working to deploy advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technologies to improve roadway safety and mobility. SwRI provided overall system integration and coordination for the buses and developed the probe data and mass transit/emergency vehicle signal preempt priority applications. SwRI also provided a probe data map viewer on the buses as well as a roadside probe data collection application. Congress participants can experience these advanced VII applications by riding six demonstration buses on Manhattan and Long Island test routes. SwRI systems will also collect and process tour bus data for transmission through the VII network to feed into the VII Transportation Management Center of the Future demonstration at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
SwRI is also sponsoring the ITS America 2008 Student Essay contest, designed to encourage student interest and further participation in, and development of, ITS technologies and solutions.
"We are proud to be challenging today's transportation and systems engineering students to apply their knowledge in this thought-provoking competition to encourage forward-thinking ITS solutions," said Dellenback. The winners will receive complimentary registration, airfare and accommodations to attend the 15th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems and will present their essays during the conference's Research, Integration, Training and Education Forum Showcase.
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, SwRI is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States, providing creative solutions to complex problems for 60 years. The Institute is uniquely qualified to support the intelligent transportation, automotive and related industries, overcoming today's technical challenges and meeting tomorrow's goals in transportation systems.
For more information contact Deb Schmid, (210) 522-2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.