New York City Connected Vehicle Pilot's Built-In Performance Measurement Shows the Comprehensive Development and Deployment

The New York City Connected Vehicle Pilot is collecting and analyzing performance measurements for deployed connected vehicle technologies and applications. The U.S. Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) sponsored the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment program to pioneer the deployment of connected vehicle technologies in three U.S. locations, including New York City.

To directly align with the city's Vision Zero initiative, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is procuring connected vehicle hardware and software to implement vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communication. The pilot program will demonstrate how safety-related warnings and other connected vehicle applications can be deployed in the real world to address safety, mobility, and environmental goals.

The New York City pilot encompasses three distinct areas in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Vehicle data will be collected from connected infrastructure and after-market safety devices (installed after initial vehicle manufacture that can send and receive connected vehicle messages) installed on select taxis, NYCDOT fleet vehicles, buses, and trucks. Additional data will be collected from pedestrian smartphones that will assist the visually impaired traveler.

Performance measurement in connected vehicle deployment has two key goals: using performance data to improve traffic management in real time and assessing system performance. The New York City pilot is creating a built-in performance measurement system that automatically captures relevant vehicle information, fuses it with additional contextual data, and creates performance dashboards.

After-market safety devices will collect two types of connected vehicle data: breadcrumbs and action logs. The breadcrumb data are detections of connected vehicles at intersections collected for mobility purposes, such as Midtown in Motion. Action logs contain detailed vehicle movement information centered around events. Events are defined as activations of a connected vehicle application or extraordinary driver behavior like hard braking. Once an event is triggered, basic safety messages, messages received from roadside units, application information, and vehicle data will be collected for a short time period and sent to a server.

For example, breadcrumb data will be used to provide input to the Midtown in Motion adaptive signal control system. This system gathers segment travel times to identify congestion and automatically determine whether to take either or both of two possible congestion mitigation actions: modifying intersection coordination timing and modifying traffic light phase times. This is a live system that is already in use by NYCDOT.

The current data collection process to feed the application uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers to track travel times of vehicles with tolling devices. The new Midtown in Motion data collection will use roadside units to record the breadcrumb data and send them to the traffic management center in real time for segment travel time calculations. Those travel time calculations will replace the existing travel times as the new input to the adaptive control system.

New York City combines the action log data with real-time non-connected vehicle data in periodic intervals to provide analysis of the mobility benefits associated with the reduction in crashes anticipated from the V2V and V2I safety applications. This allows the action log information to be analyzed in concert with useful contextual information to measure the mobility benefits achieved as a result of the safety applications. The additional data being collected includes traffic count data, Midtown in Motion travel time data, National Weather Service weather data, NYCDOT plow data, and TRANSCOM traffic incident data, which will be used to evaluate the overall benefits of the connected vehicle crash impacts.

NYCDOT will develop reports to measure system performance through short- and long-term objectives. Dashboards will be created to serve traffic management center operators, managers, and NYCDOT engineers. Metrics in the reports will include a summary of connected vehicle devices in the field, connected vehicle applications functioning, and network wide system safety and mobility measurements such as average speeds in peak periods.

New York City's use of built-in performance measurement shows the comprehensive development and deployment being done as part of the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment program. The data generated by the pilot program will be put to real use to advance New York City's safety and traffic management goals.