7 February 2020

New York connections

New York connections

The USDOT’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Program requires DSRC to be used at multiple intersections in New York. Luckily the city has recently upgraded to state-of-the-art controllers fit for the job.

On September 14, 2015, the USDOT announced the selection of three connected vehicle (CV) deployment sites as part of the Connected Vehicle Pilot Program (CVPP). The program seeks to spur innovation among early adopters of smart-vehicle application concepts, using best available and emerging technologies. 

The CVPP focuses on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-device systems (V2X) to support safety, mobility and environmental applications using vehicle dedicated short range communications (DSRC)/wireless access for vehicular environments (WAVE). CVPP deployments are expected to integrate CV research concepts into practical and effective elements, enhancing existing operational capabilities. 

The sites selected for the three pilots have specific tasks: to use CV technologies to provide safe and efficient truck movement along I-80 in southern Wyoming; to investigate V2V and intersection communications to improve vehicle flow and pedestrian safety in high-priority corridors in New York City; and to deploy multiple safety and mobility applications on and near reversible freeway lanes in Tampa, Florida. The initial wave of pilot deployments began with a concept development phase that lasted 12 months. 


CVs in New York City 

The project facilitates the introduction of communication between vehicles and infrastructure by equipping several city-managed fleets with the technology and equipping three corridors with corresponding CV devices. 

The pilot is designed to provide a real demonstration and evaluation of the benefits of CV technology in a dense urban environment. Fortunately, due to an aggressive ITS infrastructure deployment program, the city owns a robust network with advanced traffic controllers. 

In 2008 NYC started to replace its electromechanical controllers with a state-of-the-art cabinet and controller manufactured by Peek Traffic Corporation, ATC CBD. These controllers now run 12,400 traffic signals throughout the five New York boroughs. The technology meets the needs of the city’s mobility programs and enables the CVPP to be implemented seamlessly 


How does it work? 

The traffic controller becomes a critical part of the system because it will act as a hub between roadside information and the decisions that the central management software needs to take. CV intersections will work as follows: 

A vehicle will connect with roadside equipment (RSE) via wireless DSRC. Then the RSE will feed the data to the Peek Traffic controller. The controller will gather and transmit the J2735 SPAT (signal phase and timing) and geometric information from the intersections (MAP messages) to a traffic management center. 

To fulfill all the requirements for the system, Peek controllers use a Linux-based multiprocess traffic engine environment known as Greenwave. The operating system can run multiple traffic engines on the same platform and switch between them seamlessly without affecting normal operation between cycles. It is also able to provide encrypted and secure communication between devices and is compliant with the NTCIP standards 1202, as required by the pilot program. 

The controller has sufficient processor power to gather and send all the data received from the roadside devices without the need to add an external device for CV applications. This is a key element because space inside the cabinets is limited.


Deployment focus 

The NYC CVPP encompasses three areas in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and aims to provide results on performance measures. The size of the city provides a perfect testbed for CV in measuring, among other things, the number of accidents at intersections or ramps; signal violations; truck-route violations and load/offload zone delays; truck travel times; average speed in a work zone compared with posted speeds; average wait time at stops; average travel time; and crash and injury statistics. 

There are lofty goals for the program. NYC is anticipating that approximately 250 intersections could be instrumented with roadside equipment, opening up the possibility of communicating with as many as 10,000 vehicles. These devices will monitor communications with other CVs and the infrastructure and provide alerts to vehicle drivers and operators. 

It is hoped that not only NYC’s, but also Wyoming’s and Tampa’s pilot projects will provide important data and experience for the future of CVs and that they will become the cornerstone for deployments of CV systems across the USA. 

The intent of these pilot deployments is to encourage partnerships of multiple stakeholders (private companies, states, transit agencies, commercial vehicle operators and freight shippers, for example) to deploy applications utilizing data captured from multiple sources across all elements of the surface transportation systems. Without a doubt, these deployments will drive many future decisions on the implementation of exciting new technologies. 

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