Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis

posted Mar 30, 2015, 6:13 PM by Christopher Wilson   [ updated Mar 30, 2015, 6:14 PM ]
I am one of the co-authors on the National Connected Vehicle Field Infrastructure Footprint Analysis - Final Report.  This report provide the vision for a national footprint of connected vehicle infrastructure including background on the connected vehicle research to date, infrastructure requirements and deployment concepts, specific applications and their value propositions, as well as some deployment guidelines and cost estimates.  This is intended to be a reference for transportation departments and other public entities that may be responsible for deployment of this technology.

I was one of the original instigators of this technology back in 1999 and have long been an advocate for cooperative vehicle-infrastructure deployments.  It is always great to get to work on these projects and see how the ideas have evolved as different stakeholders become more or less important.  This current plan is largely in response to the vehicle mandate likely to require vehicle to vehicle communications capabilities around 2019.  GM has announced they will deploy this technology as early as the 2017 model year.  The existence of infrastructure to talk with these vehicles provide benefits to the early adopters, although after 15 years we still have not reached a consensus on exactly what benefits the vehicle manufacturers or the transportation department's want, and the technologies required to get them.  

This report is one attempt to answer the deployment questions from the infrastructure side.  It does a pretty good job, providing a lot more numbers than were available before.  One of the capabilities that is critical to me and is missing from the existing systems is the ability to carry large amounts of data from rural areas, where there is no wireless access, to an urban hotspot, and then download this data to the infrastructure.  Collection and provisioning of large amounts of low value data to vehicles is what a short range system like this excels at, and this is really the only way to gain information about areas that don't merit specific attention.  This approach also allows a hotspot in a small town or at a crossroads to close the communications link and support a large area, well beyond the communication range.  

Still not in this version, and perhaps that is right since this does introduce a number of privacy issues that may be more appropriate for the private sector to deal with.  Another opportunity for Vehicle Data Science.
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