Evaluation of Automated Vehicle Technology for Transit

(Center Identification Number: 77975-00)

Principal Investigator:

Brian Pessaro, Senior Research Associate
National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100
Tampa, Florida  33620-5375
(813) 974-5113

DSR Contact:

Sharon Pinson
Sponsored Research Administrator
University of South Florida
Sponsored Research
3702 Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 165
Tampa, FL 33612-9445
(813) 974-0360

Project Manager:

Ed Hutchinson
FDOT Project Manager
Office of Systems Planning
Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
ed.hutchinson@dot.state.fl. us
(850) 414-4900

Background Statement

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is interested in exploring automated vehicle (AV) applications within the state of Florida. In November 2013, FDOT co-hosted the first automated vehicle summit in Tampa. The summit included discussion about the current state of AV technology and the key regulatory issues that will need to be addressed before AV technology can be safely deployed. In May 2014, FDOT hosted the first meeting of the Florida Automated Vehicles Stakeholder Working Groups. There are three working groups, each of which has a different focus (policy, modal applications, and technology). Each working group has been tasked with identifying the challenges and opportunities of their particular focus area as it relates to automated vehicles. These findings will be presented at the 2nd Florida Automated Vehicles Summit in Orlando in December 2014.

Concurrent with these efforts, FDOT is interested in collaborating with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) to demonstrate AV technology on transit vehicles. The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida will assist the FDOT, JTA, and the TPO in identifying AV technologies that could be applied on a JTA demonstration project. CUTR remains up to date on existing and emerging AV/ Connected Vehicle (CV) technologies that may benefit public transportation and has experience evaluating driver assist system technologies in transit vehicles for precision docking and lane departure warning.

Project Objectives

The purpose of this project is to conduct a synthesis of available AV technologies that could be installed today on transit vehicles. Depending on the research findings, the scope of work may be expanded later to include assisting JTA, or another Florida transit agency, with the solicitation of AV technology and the evaluation of the technology in a demonstration program.

Supporting Tasks and Deliverables

Task 1. Inventory and Document Available Technologies

The Task 1 deliverable is a synthesis of the current state of AV technology as it relates to transit with an emphasis on “off the shelf” hardware and software that could be installed on public transportation vehicles. This includes, but is not limited to, radar, lidar, magnetic guidance, mechanical guidance, optical guidance, and global positioning systems. The transit-related AV applications include, but are not limited to, lane guidance, shoulder operations, precision docking, collision avoidance, and adaptive cruise control. Other technologies could relate to vehicle operator assistance, automated dispatch, passenger to vehicle communications, or adaptation of current technologies from light-duty vehicles to heavier transit buses or paratransit vehicles. Reviews of industry publications, technical reports and inventories of relevant technologies will be a part of this activity. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has defined five levels of vehicle automation (Level 0 through Level 4). The Task 1 deliverable will classify whatever transit-related AV technologies are found into the NHTSA categories.

Ninety (90) days prior to the end date of the task work order, the university will submit the draft final report (i.e. the synthesis paper) to sandra.bell@dot.state.fl.us. The draft final report will identify the transit-related AV technologies that are currently available. The draft final and final reports must follow the Guidelines for University Presentation and Publication of Research available at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/Program_Information/GuidelinesJuly2013.pdf. The report must be well-written and edited for technical accuracy, grammar, clarity, organization, and format.

Deliverable: Upon Department approval of the draft final report, CUTR will submit the Final Report on two (2) CDs. Both CDs shall contain the report in PDF and Word formats. CDs should be labeled in a professional manner and include contract number, task work order number, project title, and date.

The final report is due by the end date of the task work order and should be mailed to the Florida Department of Transportation, Research Center, 605 Suwannee Street, MS 30, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450.

Use of Subcontractors

No use of subcontractors is anticipated for this project.

Use of Graduate Students and Other Research Assistants

No students will be used to assist on this project.


No equipment will be purchased for this project.


No expenses are anticipated for this project.


No travel will be used for this project.

Project Kickoff Teleconference

The Principal Investigator will schedule a kickoff teleconference that shall be held within the first 30 days of execution. The project manager, principal investigator, and research performance coordinator shall attend. Other parties may be invited if appropriate. The purpose of the meeting is to review the tasks, deliverables, and deployment plan. Teleconference/web meeting should be used.

Project Closeout Teleconference

The principal investigator will schedule a closeout teleconference that shall be held during the final 30 days of the task work order. The principal investigator, project manager, and research performance coordinator shall attend. Other parties may be invited, if appropriate. The purpose of the meeting is to review project performance, the deployment plan, and next steps.

Performance and Financial Consequences

Work not identified and included in this scope of service is not to be performed and will not be subject to compensation by the Department.

Financial consequences for unsatisfactory performance are referenced in Section 10 and Section 11 of the Master University Agreement, Form No. 375-040-64.

Publication Provision

lf at any time during the project, the University or subcontractor (if applicable) desires to publish in any form any material that has not been submitted for formal review and acceptance by the Department, the University must submit to the Department an abstract and notification of intent to publish materials, and receive the Department’s concurrence to publish. To protect the interest of the Department, such publication must prominently contain the following statement “The Florida Department of Transportation has not reviewed or accepted this material.” Both written and oral releases are considered to be within the context of publication. However, there is no intention to limit discussion of the study with small technical groups or lectures to employees or students. Lectures that describe the plans but disclose neither data nor results may be given to other groups without advance approval.

Project Milestones

The timeframe for this project is approximately 6 months from execution of the task work order.

Task Description Anticipated Timeframe for completion (in months)
Task 1 Inventory and Document Available Technologies 6

Total duration of project


Project Schedule

May 2014 to November 2014

Project Budget

Total Project Cost     $25,719

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