Incorporate standardized over-the-air update procedures to permit efficient firmware updates for connected vehicle devices.

Success Stories from the USDOT’s Connected Vehicle Pilot Program.


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Lesson Learned

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) led Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot program has procured and developed processes to update connected vehicle software to implement vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communication.
The New York City CV pilot project area encompasses three distinct areas in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The pilot will install after-market safety devices, a device installed after initial vehicle manufacture that can send and receive CV messages, on 5,850 taxis, 700 Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses, 1,050 sanitation and NYCDOT vehicles and 400 UPS vehicles.

Throughout the NYC pilot, updates to the device firmware will need to be made to dynamically update the after-market safety devices with custom firmware or threshold settings. NYCDOT will need to be able to quickly update all or a subset of the 8,000 vehicles mentioned above around the same time, restricting them to over-the-air updates. Firmware updates can be slow, requiring the device to have a consistent connection to the network relay supplying the update. Therefore, updates on-the-move cannot currently be supported as the connection can drop when switching between roadside units. Additionally, the updates need to be pushed out over Dedicated Short Range Communication. The NYC pilot does not use other networks such as WiFi or cellular to push updates.

To support these firmware updates, the CV infrastructure deployment conducted by NYCDOT will include the integration of over-the-air firmware updates into a subset of specialized roadside units. These specialized roadside units will be deployed at 36 support locations throughout the city. Support locations include airports and terminal facilities which are deemed "barns". These barns are locations that are frequently visited by fleet vehicles and where the vehicles will be parked for a sufficient amount of time to support firmware updates.

The firmware update process is initiated by the Traffic Management Center device management centers for the after-market safety devices. The device management center will send out Wave Service Advertisements over a control channel to after-market safety devices through select roadside units. Wave Service Advertisements notify a device when a new firmware update is available, so that an update can be initiated once the vehicle is at a support location. Once the after-market safety device connects to a roadside unit that supports updates, it is directed to a special service channel to receive the update data.

The firmware updates will be digitally signed by the device vendor so that they can be verified as legitimate by the devices before initiating the update. Failed verifications will block unauthorized update attempts and the Traffic Management Center will be notified in the event a verification fails. For data analysis purposes, data collected by NYCDOT will include custom metadata that has fields for the firmware version and settings in place when data was collected.

Updates are delivered by the RSUs in two ways: some are broadcast continuously for devices to monitor and capture, and some use the unicast system which requires the device to initiate the update.

These standardized over-the-air update procedures will allow the NYC CV Pilot program to efficiently update all or a subset of their vehicles to meet both device manufacturer recommendations and their own custom experimentation.

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Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program: Success Stories

Author: Glassco, Rick; James O'Hara; Barbara Staples; Kathy Thompson; and Peiwei Wang

Published By: USDOT Office of the Secretary for Research and Deployment

Source Date: 11/01/2017

URL: https://www.its.dot.gov/pilots/success_lessonslearned.htm

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Lessons From This Source

Allow for increased coordination with the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) early on in the DSRC licensing process to help reduce what is traditionally a very lengthy process.

Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program yields program management best practices for integrating and testing large disparate systems.

Connected vehicles should rely on more than one data feed to determine accurate location and speed

Consider installing additional vehicle detection equipment if it is determined that there is not sufficient market penetration for CV traffic signal control applications to work at their full potential

Facing a gap in standards interpretation, the Tampa and New York City Connected Vehicle Pilot Sites worked together to harmonize message structure for pedestrian safety applications.

For pedestrian safety warning applications, opt to collect pedestrian location data from LIDAR sensors instead of pedestrian mobile devices that often have insufficient accuracy.

Incentivize participation in CV deployments through benefits such as toll discounts

Include technical, operations, and legal personnel in stakeholder meetings to address the requirements of the CV deployment and ensure that participants' privacy is being maintained

Incorporate standardized over-the-air update procedures to permit efficient firmware updates for connected vehicle devices.

Obtain working prototypes of CV applications from the USDOT’s Open Source Application Data Portal (OSADP) to prevent time spent doing duplicative software development

Prevent the need for channel switching (a safety hazard) by designing CV communications to include dual radios in each vehicle

Publish all CV planning documentation to serve as an example for other early deployers to follow

The Tampa Connected Vehicle Pilot Program investigates damage to roadside units (RSUs) near lightning strikes and improves transient surge immunity by verifying nearby support structures are properly grounded.

The USDOT’s three Connected Vehicle Pilots successfully demonstrate cross-site over-the-air interoperability among six participating vendors.

Use local student mechanics where possible to perform CV equipment installations to provide students with required trainee experience and to contain costs

Use on-board connected vehicle (CV) technology and SPaT / MAP infrastructure messages to prevent wrong way entries on reversible express lanes.

When installing antennas on streetcars to support wireless connected vehicle applications, verify that radio performance is not compromised by interference from high-voltage power lines.

Lesson ID: 2018-00814