Understanding Opportunities with Connected Vehicles in the Smart Cities Context

This research focused on using connected vehicle information to identify locations prone to conflicts between motorized and non-motorized users to improve traffic safety on multimodal roadway networks. With this information in hand, transportation system users can be alerted of potential conflicts they may be involved in, before their occurrence, allowing these users to take preventive actions by making evasive maneuvers. A comprehensive review of the literature investigated existing connected vehicle (CV) and vehicle-to-device (V2X) safety applications. The methods to allow a sensor to communicate via both dedicated short range communications (DSRC) and via Bluetooth, WiFi, or another communication protocol commonly used by mobile devices were also investigated, as well as existing surrogate safety measures and their use in conflict- and safety-prediction algorithms. The review indicated that several studies have focused on the safety and operational benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications; however, the safety benefits of V2X communications have not been sufficiently explored.

In this project, a cost-effective, solar-energy driven, small, and lightweight communication node device, called the Smart Road Sticker (SRS), was developed to enable communications between connected vehicles and other roadway users via protocols such as LoRa and Bluetooth, and potentially DSRC. A supporting mobile application that allows pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of unconnected vehicles to communicate with the SRS device and vice versa was also designed. A crash risk prediction algorithm, with applications for vehicle/non-motorized user crashes, was developed to identify unsafe conditions and determine appropriate CV-based safety countermeasures for system users. Next, a connected vehicle simulation test bed was established in VISSIM to evaluate the safety benefits of the proposed methodology under various traffic and landscape conditions. The findings of this study were that the number of conflicts increased when the penetration of connected devices decreased. In addition, increasing the traffic volume had a direct relationship with increasing the number of conflicts. Finally, a real-world test bed was established for installation of sensors, data collection, and analysis, as well as to initiate further smart cities research within the state. 

Publication Date: 
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 885.1
Last modified: 
03/03/2020 - 16:04
Yinhai Wang, John Ash, Yifan Zhuang, Zhibin Li, Ziqiang Zeng, Ali Hajbabaie, Leila Hajibabai, Mehrdad Tajalli
Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans); Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC-UW)
Number of Pages: 
Connected vehicles, Mobile communication systems, Multimodal transportation, Traffic safety, Vehicle to infrastructure communications, Vehicle to vehicle communications, Crash avoidance systems, Traffic conflicts, Pedestrian vehicle interface, Test beds.