Yunex Traffic has successfully integrated its onboard and roadside units (OBUs and RSUs) into the University of Florida’s autonomous shuttle program.
The initiative is part of a research program funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), called the Trapezium Project, and will allow two autonomous Transdev EasyMile shuttles operating around the University of Florida (UF) campus in Gainesville to observe and obey traffic signals.
Working with the University’s I-STREET Living Lab and Gainesville’s Regional Transit System, Yunex and its partners mounted RSUs on traffic signal poles or mast arms, allowing the shuttles to stop and go, and turn right or left in the normal flow of traffic.
Iouri Nemirovski, Yunex Traffic’s product manager for the RSU2X, said the initiative is not only advancing autonomous transportation, but is also providing a vital service to UF students.
“This is a tremendous example of smart city operations,” said Nemirovski. “At Yunex, we believe technology should work for people and not the other way around. Giving students and faculty an efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly mobility option hits all of our pillars, and we’re very proud to be part of this effort.”
Autonomous shuttle programs typically operate on a closed loop and avoid traffic signals. Many use human drivers to navigate through signalled intersections. This collaboration, with Yunex Traffic’s technology at its core, opens new opportunities for autonomous shuttles and the riders who use them.
The autonomous shuttle program is an outgrowth of a FDOT-funded research study to deploy 71 Yunex Traffic OBUs in UF and City of Gainesville vehicles, all designed to interact with Yunex RSUs deployed in and near the UF campus. Yunex also provided its proprietary Sitraffic Concert Advanced Traffic Management System, and operational support to conduct the study. Yunex subcontracted with road safety company Brandmotion to install the equipment.
Yunex Traffic said that the results of the study were universally positive. Drivers reported much greater situational awareness and a high interaction rate between their OBUs and RSUs throughout campus. Results were published in a FDOT-funded research report titled, “Evaluation of the Gainesville Trapezium Connected Vehicle Signal Phasing and Timing (SPaT) Deployment”.
The research team was led by Sanjay Ranka, PhD, professor at UF’s Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Lily Elefteriadou, PhD, professor, and director of UFTI, and Pruthvi Manjunatha, PhD, I-STREET manager.
Speaking about the project, UF’s Dr Sanjay Ranka said: “Our long-term objective is to leverage big data analytics and artificial intelligence to use the information collected for both improving safety and traffic operations.”
“With the advances in University of Florida’s autonomous shuttle capability and the community’s response to our on-board communication, Gainesville is setting a bar for university and mid-sized towns around the nation, and that’s exciting,” added Yunex Traffic’s Nemirovski.
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