Utilizing CAT Data for Freeway Operational Strategies


C2SMART researchers are working on NCHRP 08-145 in partnership with Noblis to understand and develop a body of literature to assess how freeway operational strategies could be improved using Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) data. CAT links a complex set of stakeholders and technologies, establishing a freeway operations ecosystem of connected entities generating and communicating data. Key data from Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), travelers with mobile devices, connected smart cargo, third-party providers, field infrastructure (e.g., a roadside unit [RSU]), roadside weather sensors and cameras, and other technologies, have the potential to enhance freeway operational strategies and performance measures or enable new forms that are highly precise and impactful.

The overall scope of the project is to assess use cases where freeway operations strategies could be improved through the transmission of data between a traffic management system (TMS) and the larger cooperative automated transportation (CAT) system (either directly or through a third party). This assessment should (1) spur development of enhanced and new operational strategies and (2) help agencies justify gaining access to additional CAT data. 

Research Objectives

C2SMART researchers will conduct a review of literature on how CAT derived data is being used for safety-related freeway performance measures and operational strategies and provide sections as input to a Draft Literature Report.

Evaluate Freeway Operational Strategies. C2SMART will conduct an evaluation of potential uses of CAT derived data for safety-related performance monitoring and operational strategies that would be implemented by a transportation agency. This evaluation will include:

  • (1) catalog of safety-related freeway operational strategies with typical approaches for their control logic (including safety performance monitoring),
  • (2) description of data in the Basic Safety Message (BSM) that could support safety-related freeway operational strategies,
  • (3) description of other CAT data beyond the BSM (including SAE J2945 messages) that may be beneficially applied to safety-related freeway operational strategies (including characteristics such as availability from third-party providers, latency, aggregation level, and reliability,
  • (4) description of information that could be passed from the TMS to CAVs (e.g., lane control), and
  • (5) draft operational concepts for enhanced safety-related freeway operational strategies that draw upon this CAT data (including potential architectures for data processing).

Develop Enhanced Freeway Operational Strategies. C2SMART will work with Noblis to develop selected enhanced freeway operational strategies, with a focus on safety-related performance measurement and freeway operational strategies. This will include:

  • (1) collecting sample data from ongoing demonstration projects, field tests or other sources (e.g., ITS Public Data Hub), and assessing their suitability,
  • (2) selecting a freeway testbed already coded and calibrated in a microsimulation tool,
  • (3) mapping the data flows for the strategies,
  • (4) developing a test plan for the strategies,
  • (5) developing scenarios that include parameters such as the penetration rate of CAV,
  • (6) identifying data elements and message formats for data beyond the BSM and the Basic Infrastructure Message,
  • (7) incorporating CAT data from third-party providers as appropriate,
  • (8) developing the core logic of the operational strategy,
  • (9) suggesting improvements to current operational algorithms commonly in use,
  • (10) testing the core logic using field data and, as necessary, simulated data, and
  • (11) evaluating the potential benefits of the operational strategy.

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Kaan Ozbay

Director, C2SMART
Professor, NYU

Kaan Ozbay is a Co-Principal Investigator on this project.

Jingqin Gao

Senior Research Associate, NYU

Jingqin Gao is a Researcher on this project.

Chuan Xu

Researcher, NYU

Chuan Xu is a Researcher on this project.

Noblis, inc

Research Agency

Noblis, Inc is a Partner on this project.