The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) is currently in the design stage of its groundbreaking Connected Vehicle Pilot project, which will become the largest deployment of connected vehicles (CV) in the USA, once it is underway.
The project will implement multiple CV safety-related applications in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, consistent with the city’s focus on its Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic-related injuries and fatalities. The project will also improve mobility and travel time reliability, and reduce the environmental impact of traffic. The NYCDOT and its partners will install hardware devices and high-speed radios in 8,000 vehicles, including:
5,850 taxis that operate mostly in lower Manhattan; 1,250 buses operated by Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); 250 sanitation vehicles operated by the NYC Department of Sanitation; 250 NYCDOT fleet vehicles; 400 United Parcel Service (UPS) delivery trucks.
Similar capability will be provided via smartphone applications for 100 pedestrians and bicyclists.
The CV Pilot will also see over 350 intersections in Manhattan and Brooklyn equipped with roadside units (RSU) that will broadcast warning messages to equipped vehicles. These devices and radios will enable ultra-fast vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication of safety and mobility-related messages, such as warnings for sudden braking ahead, red-light violations, speed violations, and vehicles turning in front of buses. RSUs will also be deployed in the taxi waiting area at LaGuardia Airport, the location outside of Manhattan most frequently visited by cabs, to enable rapid software upgrades.
The project’s plan to equip 5,850 taxis covers over half of the taxis in lower Manhattan. The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was receptive to participating in the project to help achieve the city’s Vision Zero goal, and to gain a potential competitive advantage over the on-demand travel market and ride-sharing services through added safety features and the prospect of shorter travel times. NYCDOT’s partnership with UPS will see the world’s largest package delivery company use the CV technology to achieve the potential benefits of increased safety and reduced travel times, bringing major cost savings to its operations.
The project began in 2015 when NYCDOT approached the TLC, MTA, UPS, and others, to propose a large-scale CV technology deployment to the benefit of all parties. Based on a memorandum of understanding, TLC and UPS will provide vehicles and drivers, while NYCDOT will install and maintain the hardware and software devices, and will also train the drivers in the technologies’ operation.