The Connected Vehicles Research Lab (CVRL) is located in the electrical engineering (EE) department of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). The CVRL is involved in the state of the art research to improve driver safety and traffic mobility using vehicle to vehicle (V2V) or vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) wireless communication which is commonly known as the connected vehicles technology. The CVRL has previously worked on projects funded by the Northland Advanced Transportation Systems Research Laboratory (NATSRL), the Intelligent Transporation Systems (ITS) Institute, and the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) of the Unversity of Minnesota. Currently, CVRL is working in collaboration with Roadway Safety Institute (RSI) of CTS, and Savari Networks on two differnt projects funded by United Sates Department of Transportation (DOT). The CVRL is also working on a workzone safety project funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation. To find out the the details on current and past research projects, please click here.
What is Connected Vehicles Technology?
In October 1999, the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) allocated 75 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band to be exclusively used by intelligent transportation systems. This exclusive band of wireless communication is called dedicated short range communication (DSRC) which has become the enabler of connected vehicles technology. Using DSRC based V2V and/or V2I communication, vehicles will be able to exchange basic safety data, such as their speed and location, with each other to avoid crashes and provide useful information to the drivers to make well informed decisions.
When will we have it in our cars?
On February 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles. NHTSA is in the process to begin working on a regulatory proposal that would require V2V devices in new vehicles in future. DOT believes that the signal this announcement sends to the market will significantly enhance development of this technology and pave the way for market penetration of V2V safety applications. Hopefully, in few short years every new car will come with built-in DSRC technology. By then, the older cars will have the option to purchase standalone DSRC devices to place on their dashboards.
How will it benefit us?
This technology would not only improve driver safety but also traffic mobility by allowing vehicles to "talk" to each other by exchanging basic safety data, such as speed and position, ten times per second. At the time of the NHTSA's announcement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx commented, "Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we've already seen with safety belts and air bags. By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go".
Responding to NHTSA's landmark announcement, Scott F. Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), said, "While the auto industry has made great strides to reduce fatalities and injuries after a crash, the next giant leap is to enable real-time communication between vehicles and with the world around them so crashes can be avoided in the first place."