Vehículos conectados

Entering a New Era of Mobility

18 of January of 2024

In recent years, the importance of imagining a world where all vehicles on the road communicate with one another and with the infrastructure has increased. This is vital to help prevent accidents and make traffic flow smoothly and efficiently.

This is what everyone in mobility envisions as the desirable and possible future, but so far, nobody has figured out how to fully achieve it.

The current state of affairs

Broadly speaking, there are already a lot of new technologies that make vehicles safer. Cars are becoming increasingly intelligent and connected with sensors and onboard computers, allowing them to perform sophisticated tasks such as connecting to the internet, detecting objects, and perceiving the world around them.

Meanwhile, there is also an increasingly connected infrastructure. Departments of transportation are making roads safer by putting sensors and cameras onto roadways, whether that’s at intersections, tolling locations, or just along the highway. These devices can transmit real-time information about road conditions, weather, traffic, and accidents.

The main problem is that these systems are very fragmented; they are not communicating with one another. The technology in vehicles and infrastructure comes from dozens of different providers, and there is no formal framework to understand how we can bring everything together. Some actors, such as the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), are taking steps to solve this fragmentation and make connected infrastructure a reality through its Connected Vehicle Ecosystem (CVE) project.

What is a Connected Vehicle Ecosystem (CVE) project?

The CVE project aims to lead the development of innovative technologies that will power the future of transportation and mobility, and create a technology architecture system in which vehicles and infrastructure can seamlessly communicate in ways that benefit both the public and private sectors.

NextMove is a digital business venture by Ferrovial subsidiary Cintra that is teaming up to revolutionize the transportation sector through their expertise and pave the way for an interconnected future. This is an intriguing approach, and other state departments of transportation will be closely watching to learn from the project’s achievements.

One of the great challenges of the project is to design a sustainable business model that generates demand for vehicle connectivity over time, so that the ecosystem can sustain itself through viable business models.

What the CVE project aims to do differently is to establish a partnership between the public sector and private providers that not only fosters interconnectivity between vehicles and infrastructure, but also actively promotes and incentivizes participation and collaboration.

Leveraging private sector innovations

When it comes to transportation and mobility, the public and private sectors share many of the same priorities, such as protecting public safety, minimizing accidents and injuries, and improving the traveler experience.

However, their approaches to achieving these goals are necessarily different. Departments of Transportation can make improvements to the infrastructure (road maintenance, road markings, signage, etc.), while private vehicle manufacturers can make improvements to their vehicles (steering assistance, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, etc.).

By connecting infrastructure and vehicles using technology solutions, the CVE project will combine the strengths of the public and private sectors to help make mobility safer and more efficient.

Navigating the first steps of the CVE project

The CVE project is just getting started, and currently the focus is on thinking through system architecture design.

This comes from a highly technical level of thinking about questions such as: What will the cloud architecture system look like? What data do highway operators need to access and view on a daily basis versus aggregating over time, reviewing, and analyzing to gain a better understanding of their road performance?

We are also considering the final use cases that we want to enable, and then working our way backward to determine how we can make them possible through the CVE.

For instance, if there is a highway crash that blocks multiple lanes, we may want the CVE to instantly communicate information to emergency responders, ODOT, and all the vehicles going back however many miles on that road.

Another application is preventive maintenance. Departments of transportation could have sensors and connectivity along the roadway that monitor pavement or guardrail conditions and detect deterioration so that preventive maintenance can be done before the conditions become unsafe. This could prevent accidents as well as lower costs because it makes it possible to preserve roadways on an ongoing basis.

Furthermore, an explicit goal of the CVE project is to support Road Usage Charging, a revenue collection model that aims to replace the declining gas tax by charging drivers per mile driven. Currently, this revenue collection model relies on various manual and technological options for reporting mileage, but with a fully functional CVE system, a highly automated system could be built directly into the vehicles.

Building a private consortium

While we are leading the first phase of system architecture design and strategic long-term planning, we are excited to be working with multiple subcontractors and leveraging their expertise.

Rekor is contributing their understanding of traffic management and connected infrastructure, Gannett Fleming is lending their expertise as a transportation consultancy, and ClearRoad is providing their cloud-based digital tools and experience with connected vehicles.

Through the different members of the consortium, we can also leverage strong relationships with vehicle manufacturers and large technology firms that could provide the cloud infrastructure for a system like CVE.

These companies are all part of the ecosystem of relationships that NextMove is bringing to this project, along with Ferrovial’s expertise in public-private partnerships.

Looking ahead to an interconnected future

Oregon’s innovative vision has led to the development of the CVE project, a sustainable and interconnected mobility ecosystem that promises to benefit everyone. As part of a consortium that values the input of top players, we are excited to contribute to the design of this new system. The mission is to create a sustainable, interconnected mobility ecosystem that benefits both public and private actors. The inclusivity of this initiative is impressive, and it is an ongoing effort to bring in more enthusiastic participants. By fostering collaboration and innovation, Oregon is paving the way for a brighter future in engineering and mobility. This project is a testament to the state’s commitment to progress and sustainability.

The potential impact of the CVE project is significant, and it is exciting to be a part of this movement towards a more sustainable future. By bringing together experts from various fields, we can create a system that is both efficient and environmentally responsible. We look forward to continuing our work with the consortium and building a brighter future for transportation in Oregon and beyond.

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