Some of the highlights from ITS America’s Annual Meeting in Detroit included:
• 3M’s connected roads with their intelligent road signs and building infrastructure for the next generation of vehicles
• ITS America Hall of Famer Kirk Steudle, the Director of Michigan DOT who said the key to his state’s success in implementing transport technology is the governor Rick Snyder’s belief that it is OK to try something that does not work. If you’re not failing once in a while, “you’re not working hard enough”.
• Michigan announced a grant program to support mobility start-ups in the state.
• A new autonomous test bed, the American Center of Mobility has opened near Detroit.
Andrew Dubner from 3M Connected Roads talked about the growth in connectivity between what is on the roadway and in the car as the human driver no longer has to be in the middle of that relationship. GM showed new connected features for traffic signals and road construction warnings.
“It’s been great having the Annual Meeting in Michigan,” said Steudle, who is director of MDOT. “The last time we had an industry event here in Detroit was in 2014, which was hailed as one of the best World Congresses in the Americas. I’m hearing similar comments about this Annual Meeting and about how we’ve set the bar quite high for future annual meetings and what the expectations should be.”
“In keynote sessions, information from across the country, and in some cases internationally, has been shared – and people have been so engaged,” he said.
“There’s also been so much energy as I’ve walked through the exhibitor hall and there is lots of business-to-business going on, which is really is important to me.
“I also take my hat off to the MDOT staff who’ve been working at the event. They’ve been tremendous.”
“Winning the Hall of Fame Award [at the ITSA Board of Directors Meeting on June 4] is humbling,” Steudle said. “Being on the board of directors, I too voted for people and I know of all the individuals who were considered in that category as potential winners. It truly was an honor to win.”
“Hopefully those who have attended the Annual Meeting have enhanced their networks,” Steudle said. “I encourage them to continue to build upon and strengthen their new connections after they have left the event.
“If they’re new and they’re just starting out, they should understand that there’s a huge amount of people working toward the same vision,” he advises. “If they’re senior in their career and they’re networking, they have a responsibility to mentor. They need to help others along and help them to understand that this industry will do great things for the future.”
“The ITSA Annual Meeting has gone amazingly well,” said iTS America President Shailen Bhatt. “We have had record attendance from visitors to the event, as well as exhibitors participating in the halls.”
As expected, the meeting proved to be an excellent opportunity for industry professionals to network, explore business and project opportunities, and share knowledge and experiences.
“There are 32 State DOTs that are members of ITS America – and 20 of their leaders attended, which is great,” said Bhatt. “In addition, we have witnessed great keynote speakers – including two governors of state; Mark Reuss, executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain from General Motors; and Heidi King from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who spoke at the roundtable
Visitors were able hear, in person, the latest news from ITS America, including announcements about its work with the US Department of Transportation on Mobility-on-Demand Alliance projects and the ITS America Data Exchange in partnership with data-curation company Terbine.
Siemens, Iteris and Sirius XM collaborated to demonstrate their latest dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) connected vehicle technologies on public roads, as part of the 27th ITS America Annual Meeting, in Detroit, Michigan.
The 12-minute demonstrations allow visitors to see vehicle-to-infrastructure apps, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) apps and a bonus satellite radio app in action. The apps systems comprise three components: video detection sensors – located at the demo intersection – which enable pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle detection; Siemens roadside units positioned at various sites in the demonstration area; and satellite radio Sirius XM on-board units (OBU) inside each of the two demonstration cars.
The first and second demonstrations showcase a green signal phase and timing (SPaT) countdown that notifies the driver of how long red- or green- times at the intersection will last – in real time, as the vehicle approaches the lights; and a pedestrian detection (ped-X) system that notifies the driver if somebody happens to be crossing the road at that time.
Next, a V2V warning system is in place to send an alert to drivers via the OBU if there is a risk of collision between the two demonstration vehicles. A key advantage of this system is that it does not rely on ‘visual’ technologies to evaluate the risks surrounding the vehicles using it. Instead, it uses roadside units and OBUs inside the demonstration vehicles to calculate the distance between them and thereby assess the risk of collisions in incidents such as the vehicle in front suddenly making an emergency stop.
The fourth demonstration is a bonus traveler information message (TIM) that is sent via satellite (from the USDOT, for example) to the vehicle via its OBU. For the purposes of the demo, the TIM sent the vehicle information about a gas leak nearby. Other appropriate warnings include power outages – and the alerts can be configured to be sent to a specific, limited geographical area. Similarly (non-emergency) local alerts – standard or purposely configured – can be sent to vehicles via roadside units. Examples include variable speed limits that coincide with temporary roadworks.
The fifth and final demonstration is a wrong-way detection system. DSRC roadside units use maps that recognize the direction of traffic for each land feature and road in the area. The roadside units identify the GPS movements of in-vehicle OBUs to determine if the vehicle is traveling in the wrong direction. If so, the OBU displays a warning message to the driver. The wrong-way detection system is similar to the Siemens-Iteris-Sirius XM system used in the USDOT’s Tampa Bay pilot in Florida, which is in place to detect vehicles traveling the wrong way in a reversible lane.
The state of Michigan’s mobility-focused brand and business development program Planet M has unveiled a new initiative that offers mobility startups access to more than US$1m in grant funding at the 2018 ITS America Annual Meeting held in Detroit
One of the first of its kind, Planet M’s new two-part program includes a Pilot Grant and a Testing Grant, with the funding designed to enable mobility startups to deploy and test their technologies on Michigan’s roadways, within closed and real-world environments, with the goal of making transportation easier, safer and more affordable for residents. The latest funding announcement builds on the momentum of other recent pilot grant programs, including the Detroit Mobility Innovation Initiative and the US$8m Michigan Mobility Challenge, an initiative announced last week by Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder, and state officials to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans across the state.
Other parties involved in the initiative are: the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT); Derq, a Dubai- and Detroit-based traffic safety technology startup; and Mcity, a connected and automated vehicle (CAV) urban testing facility on the campus of the University of Michigan. Mcity is the first advanced testing facility partner on the Testing Grant program, which will provide startups with a discounted fee for trials at the site. Derq, which develops software using patented artificial intelligence (AI) to predict and prevent car crashes, is the first company to take part in the Planet M Pilot Grant program. As part of the pilot, Derq is launching two advanced software applications for CAVs and road infrastructure, in downtown Detroit at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Randolph Street. These AI-based V2X applications will focus on predicting vehicle and pedestrian-related risks around intersections, and proactively alerting fleets and vehicles equipped with Derq’s technology.
“The startup technology that is being tested and deployed here in Michigan will lead to real, and meaningful improvements in the quality of life and access to transportation solutions throughout the state,” said Trevor Pawl, vice president of Planet M. “We’re constantly working to address the needs and challenges expressed by those actively engaged in the mobility community, and we are taking it to the next level via testing and deployment.”
Dr Georges Aoude, CEO and co-founder of Derq, commented, “We are very excited to bring our AI and V2X software capabilities to Detroit. Coming from Dubai, we’re thankful to have great partners like Planet M and MDOT in both this pilot project, and in helping us to build our business in the USA. We’re proud to consider Michigan as our USA headquarters, and to be part of Michigan’s evolution as the mobility state.”
Greg McGuire, lab director at Mcity, noted, “The cost to test can be a deterrent for many startups. We’re proud to work with PlanetM and MDOT to take action and provide funding to reduce these costs. This will allow startups to focus their resources on enhancing and demonstrating their technologies, and simultaneously works to deepen companies’ ties to Michigan and our mobility ecosystem.”
Oakland County in Michigan and the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) have selected P3 Mobility (P3M) of Toronto to launch a first-of-its-kind pilot program to test connected vehicle infrastructure and determine the viability of innovative business model to monetize the technology.
The initiative was announced at the ITS America Annual Meeting in Detroit, with the parties stating that the business model for the project will involve a public-private partnership. In 2014, Oakland County’s executive, L Brooks Patterson, announced the formation of a Connected Vehicle Task Force whose job was to tap industry experts to develop a business model for implementing connected vehicle infrastructure throughout the county. P3M will help the task force take the next step on developing and testing a leading-edge business model.
P3M provides a software platform that enables secure and authenticated subscriptions to various smart road services. The company believes that intelligent road infrastructure can be built and funded through a public-private-partnership (P3) model, hence its name. P3M has identified and formed partnerships with leading companies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV), market research, and consulting sectors, to bring Oakland County a consortium of world-class expertise. Partner companies that provided support in P3M’s Oakland County RFP response included: Marsh, WSP, Integral Blue, E-Scrypt, Miovision, Savari, Paxgrid CDN, IMG Rebel, Head Research, Giants and Gentlemen, Mobile Comply, Future Help Design, Veterans Life USA, Axcess Internet, Lease Web, Invest Stratford, and Stonebridge.
P3 Mobility will install wireless smart intersection technology at 10-12 intersections and research the user experience to better understand the optimal pricing of various road services and their projected income potential. The exact location, dates of installation, and cost of the project will be determined. P3M aims to engage the diverse expertise of its partner firms to demonstrate a level of success in the pilot phase, which will pave the way for a full-scale roll-out in Oakland County, the State of Michigan, and throughout North America.
“The pilot program has the potential to revolutionize transportation, not just in Oakland County, but for the world, by seeing whether we can monetize connected mobility infrastructure,” explained Patterson. “On an engineering and business level, this is our moon shot. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) published an article a few weeks ago that says implementing connected vehicle technology and infrastructure could prevent up to 8.1 million car crashes and 44,000 deaths. Taking another step closer to countywide connected vehicle infrastructure, is another step closer to preventing automobile deaths and injuries.”