Connected Ann Arbor

Roadside wireless devices, such as this one mounted on a traffic light pole, allow drivers to be alerted to dangers from nearby vehicles or potential hazards elsewhere in the system.

In August of 2012, U-M launched the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment, the world’s largest on-roadway test of the potential of connected vehicle technology. Sponsored by the US Department of Transportation, the $31 million program equipped nearly 3,000 private cars, trucks, and buses to allow wireless communication with each other and with devices in the roadway infrastructure of northeast Ann Arbor.  This test environment uses 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC), spectrum reserved by the FCC for transportation safety applications. The model deployment uses a communication platform and application set, along with security and privacy protocols, developed by the USDOT through the Michigan–based auto industry consortium CAMP (Collision Avoidance Metrics Partnership).

Data on vehicles’ wireless communication, accumulated at the rate of 10 times per second, has allowed researchers to test connected vehicle operations in real-world conditions. The database thus created by UMTRI has been used by the USDOT-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine the large-scale safety potential for the connected vehicle technology as standard equipment for passenger cars in the U.S. The test environment also created opportunities for all industry stakeholders to evaluate possible approaches to the market for this technology. Opportunities were also created to evaluate the implications of the technology for traffic efficiency, energy efficiency and environmental benefits.

Building on this experience, the MTC is now expanding the deployment to embrace the full range of traffic situations in the greater Ann Arbor area. The expansion will include:

  • Up to 9,000 equipped vehicles, including
    • Private cars
    • Trucks
    • Buses
    • Motorcycles
    • Bicycles
    • Links with pedestrians
  • 27 square miles of coverage, including surrounding highways as well as city and suburban streets.
  • Equipped infrastructure includes
    • 45+ intersections
    • 3 curve-related sites
    • 12 freeway sites
  • Over-the-air security
  • All dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) logged
  • Testing selected vehicle-to-infrastructure functions
  • Back-haul communications network
  • Back-end data storage

Want to be part of Connected Ann Arbor? If you live or work in the city, you can sign up to have your vehicle equipped with connected technology that will help our research. MTC is working in partnership with the U-M Transportation Research Institute through the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment. Learn more here