The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Releases New Publications

The USDOT has released several new reports highlighting its latest research initiatives and findings related to intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies and connected vehicles:

  • Rural Connected Vehicle Gap Analysis (FHWA-JPO-18-612): The focus of the Rural Connected Vehicle Gap Analysis was to identify potential challenges pertaining to the deployment of connected vehicles across rural areas, and potential solutions that address the identified challenges. Decades of study regarding rural transportation needs indicate that rural areas share certain transportation hurdles that differ from those in urban areas. For instance, the relatively low population density in most rural areas means that not only are there fewer people traveling on local roads, but also that there is a lower tax base and hence less funding for transportation and other public services. Funding scarcity, in turn, restricts the money available for infrastructure repair, maintenance, personnel, and traditional resources for services such as emergency response and traffic management. Rural areas also have a higher occurrence of fatal road crashes than the urban roadways. The opportunity for improved safety and operating conditions that connected vehicles offers rural communities is great. This project aimed to identify any gap(s) restricting or hindering rural deployment of connected vehicle technologies. To view this report, please visit
  • Integrated Modeling for Road Condition Prediction (IMRCP) (FHWA-JPO-17-601 and FHWA-JPO-17-602): The objective of the IMRCP is to demonstrate the integration of traffic, weather, and operational event forecasts to predict integrated road conditions. Elements of the forecast include atmospheric and road weather conditions, hydrology, traffic demand and management strategies, work zones, winter maintenance operations, incidents, and special events. Evaluation of the IMRCP demonstration assesses the potential application benefits for transportation operators and maintenance providers. It is envisioned that the integrated forecasts may be useful to transportation system operators and travelers in decision support, providing alerts of road conditions, and routing for travel and maintenance. To view the four-page flyer, please visit To view the two-page fact sheet, visit
  • Concept of Operations for Road Weather Connected Vehicle and Automated Vehicle Applications (FHWA-JPO-17-511): The USDOT is providing national leadership in the connected vehicle and vehicle automation programs. Considering these programs, the USDOT through the Road Weather Management Program has developed this Concept of Operations (ConOps) to define the priorities for connected vehicle and automated-enabled road weather applications. Ten high-priority connected and automated vehicle road weather concepts are identified and described in this document. To view this report, please visit
  • Proof of Concept for the Trajectory-Level Validation Framework for Traffic Simulation Models (FHWA-JPO-16-407): This report presents a Proof of Concept Application (PCA) for the Trajectory Level Validation Framework, which is presented in a separate report. The structure of this document parallels that of the Validation Framework report, enabling the reader to easily cross-reference descriptions and discussion details between the two. This PCA document contains the validation performance measures and validation tests presented in the Validation Framework, including those related to: safety, acceleration limits and comfort, traffic flow, and lane changing. This document illustrates how practitioners can use the Validation Framework to assess the realism of the simulated vehicle dynamics in a model. By analogously applying this Validation Framework to their own data sets and simulation models, analysts and practitioners can more precisely measure and improve the performance of their traffic simulation models. To view this report, please visit
  • Concept of Operations : SeaTA-Enhanced Travel Time Estimates and Traffic Management Practices for the St. Lawrence Seaway (FHWA-JPO-18-624): This ConOps is the final installment in a series of three reports focused on identifying opportunities for the application of ITS technology--or equivalent--within the maritime transportation environment of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. The ConOps presented in this paper proposes a computer-based application that will improve the current level of accuracy of estimated times of arrival (ETAs) for vessels operating on the Seaway, and enhance overall system efficiency and situational awareness of Seaway operators and vessels. The proposed application, called Seaway Time of Arrival (SeaTA), collects real-time operational data (e.g., course, speed, status) from vessels using existing, shipboard Automated Information System transceivers, and uses that data to derives ETAs from each vessel's current position to various critical waypoints along their planned routes (e.g., locks, bridges, or navigational hazards). The proposed application is intended to improve overall safety and efficiency of the Seaway, reduce operating costs of vessels and Seaway infrastructure, and yield concurrent efficiencies to the region's heavily traveled road and rail network. To view this report, please visit
  • BSM (+BMM) Data Emulator, Dynamic Interrogative Data Capture (DIDC) Assessment Report: Proof of Concept (FHWA-JPO-17-515): The report documents the study conducted as part of the BSM+BMM Data Emulator project, to examine the DIDC concept and determine the best set of DIDC parameters that provide the most support to the performance measure estimation process with the least amount of data load on communications. The four key transportation performance measures studied include travel time, queues, turning movements, and slippery conditions. This study used a genetic algorithm process to evaluate a set of possible DIDC alternatives which were then evolved into better solutions through repetitive application of mutation and recombination. The study made use of Trajectory Conversion Algorithm-DIDC (TCA-DIDC) Version 2.4, the DIDC offline version of the software tool developed in the BSM Emulator project. The TCA-DIDC Version 2.4 generated connected vehicle messages from simulated trajectories for a single hypothetical network called Philosopher's Corner which were analyzed using measures estimation algorithm code developed in Task 4: Performance Measures. To view this report, please visit
  • BSM (+BMM) Data Emulator, Dynamic Interrogative Data Capture (DIDC) Assessment Report: Impacts of DIDC (FHWA-JPO-17-516): The objective of the DIDC algorithms and software is to optimize the capture and transmission of vehicle-based data under a range of dynamically configurable messaging strategies. The key hypothesis of DIDC is that using a well-constructed DIDC approach will have a lower risk of privacy issues and higher effective measures estimation along with a reduced data transmission load than comparable non-DIDC alternatives. The DIDC method will go through two rounds of testing using a simulation network: the first round of experimentation will study DIDC concepts and the second round will compare DIDC to other message types. The purpose of this report is to describe the testing method and results from comparing the DIDC messaging concept with current message types. This is the second phase of DIDC testing conducted in the BSM Data Emulator project. The first phase of DIDC testing, the proof of concept, was completed in January 2016 and is described in a separate test plan and final report. This second phase of testing compared the measures estimation capabilities, data communication load, and reidentification efforts of the DIDC concept to Basic Safety Message (BSM), Probe Data Message, and the European Union Cooperative Awareness Message. To view this report, please visit
  • Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) Institutional and Policy Issues Assessment: Task 6 Summary Report (FHWA-JPO-17-506): This report summarizes the research and findings of the ATTRI Institutional and Policy Assessment. The objective of this project is to identify and analyze the policy, institutional, and legal issues that are hindering development and deployment of advanced technologies with potentials to improve mobility for people with disabilities. The major policy, institutional, and legal issues identified include lack of awareness of disability needs among policy makers and technology developers, relatively weak research and development incentives due to the perception of lack of economic feasibility in the market of persons with disabilities, under-utilized potential of Transportation Network Companies in providing paratransit services, inconsistent standards/regulations/laws across regions, and technology developers' concerns of liabilities and risks. A list of eight potential actions was proposed to address those issues. The proposed actions were evaluated and prioritized based on their travel and economic impacts and feasibility. To view this report, please visit
  • Utilizing Vehicle Data for Road Weather Management (Pikalert 5.0) (FHWA-JPO-17-513): The purpose of the Pikalert System is to provide high precision road weather forecasts and recommendations. It assesses current weather and road conditions based on observations from connected vehicles, road weather information stations, radar, and weather model analysis fields. It also forecasts future weather and road conditions out to 72 hours, utilizing information from numerical weather models. As connected vehicle observations become more and more prevalent with the advent of autonomous vehicles, Pikalert has been designed to utilize these observations effectively. In particular, a number of quality check algorithms have been incorporated to guarantee that erroneous observations are flagged and set aside. Pikalert then assembles the observations that have passed the quality checks, associates them with the appropriate road segments, and then uses them to assess the road segment weather conditions. Detailed reports can then be generated, characterizing the status of the various road segments even when there is inadequate connected vehicle coverage. To view this flyer, please visit