Transportation Speaker: Connected Vehicles

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Can Connected Vehicles “Connect” to the Transportation Infrastructure? How Transportation Agencies Can Improve Service through Connected Vehicles

Brian L. Smith, PE
Professor and Chair
University of Virginia 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

The connected vehicles program seeks to utilize wireless communications to allow the transportation system to operate in a more cooperative manner.  In February 2014, The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles.  This decision signaled an important step at the federal level to move forward with implementation of connected vehicle technologies.  However, it also indicated that the focus would be on V2V applications primarily intended to reduce crashes.  This leaves an important question as to how the infrastructure itself would “fit” in the program.

The purpose of this seminar is to explore the potential role that transportation agencies may play in a connected vehicles environment.  In other words, given the ability of vehicles to transmit and receive data with other vehicles and the infrastructure, how can agencies better provide the services for which they are responsible?  In particular, the seminar will present results from research that developed and evaluated the following prototype vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications:
•    Pavement Roughness Measurement
•    Freeway Merge Management
•    Roadway Safety Assessment (“Hot Spot” Identification)

Brian Smith is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia.  Dr. Smith is also the director of the university’s Center for Transportation Studies.  His research focuses on intelligent transportation systems (ITS), particularly in advanced transportation management and connected vehicles.  Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and also a recipient of the 2006 ASCE Huber Research Award. He is an associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering.  Prior to joining the University of Virginia faculty, Dr. Smith worked for the Virginia Department of Transportation where he helped establish the department’s ITS program.



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