Connected Vehicles Research

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Since 2007, the partners have completed prototyping the first responder applications and conducted a demonstration in the parking lot at MCDOT in 2009. In 2010, the first live signalized intersection connected vehicle signal priority demonstration at an intersection in Maricopa County was conducted with two MCDOT Regional Emergency Action Coordinating Team (REACT) vehicles equipped with on-board units. In 2010, a search began for a test bed of several traffic signals that would allow the prototypes to be developed into fully deployable applications. MCDOT identified several candidates and a survey was conducted to determine the appropriateness of each. Finally, the team selected the Anthem Community as the site for the MCDOT SMARTDrive ProgramSM Connected Vehicle test bed. MCDOT staff, arranged a meeting with the Anthem Community and explained the idea of connected vehicles and how it could reduce crashes and improve mobility. The community welcomed the research initiative and the test bed was constructed. In April 2012, MCDOT and partners hosted the grand opening of the MCDOT SMARTDrive ProgramSM Connected Vehicle Test Bed which was attended by many important officials including the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Assistant Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Gregory Winfree.

The demonstration was very successful and the team was nationally recognized for achieving a significant milestone.

Since 2012, MCDOT has championed the University of Arizona to collaborate with the Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) program at the University of California at Berkeley to win the Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund project to develop the Multi Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal System (MMITSS) which advanced the original prototype applications into fully standards compliant connected vehicle dynamic mobility applications. The Connected Vehicle Pooled Fund is led by Virginia DOT and in addition to the USDOT, 15 states and local agencies are partners. The project began in 2012 and has completed two phases as of the end of 2015. MMITSS has been evaluated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Impact Assessment Contractor and shown to provide a benefit to both transit and trucks by providing traffic signal priority. MMITSS has been shown (in simulation and field demonstrations) to provide benefits for passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles as well. In December 2015, the Pooled Fund Connected Vehicle partners held their December meeting in Phoenix and were given a demonstration of the MMITSS system. Throughout the years from 2012 to 2015, the MCDOT SMARTDrive Connected Vehicle Test Bed has been demonstrated to several national groups including the AASHTO Standing Committee on Research (SCOR), a group from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) national meeting, an NCHRP US Domestic Scan Program Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) Scanning team, and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Traffic Signal Systems Committee Mid-Year Meeting (May 2015).

The partners have continued to enhance Connected Vehicle technologies. In July 2014, the test bed partnership expanded to include ADOT's intersection at I-17 and Daisy Mountain Drive in Anthem. With the expansion the Arizona Connected Vehicle Program emerged. In July 2015, MCDOT began the expansion from six traffic signals on Daisy Mountain Drive to every traffic signal in the community of Anthem — a total of eleven signals and also equipped two of the REACT vehicles so that the system could operate full time and be available to test with deployed vehicles. The partners have remained committed to moving the prototype applications to a full-scale deployment and in March 2015, the team developed the Arizona Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Proposal submitted to the FHWA. This proposal, while not selected in the first round of announced pilots, established a roadmap for deployment of Connected Vehicle systems in Anthem, on MC-85 to provide priority for trucks moving goods between Amazon Fulfillment Services warehouses, on I-17 with ADOT to provide connected vehicle capabilities as part of the deployment of variable speed limits, and in Tempe to improve pedestrians and bicycle safety and mobility.