Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment?

  • UMTRI and its partners will operate, maintain and upgrade this unique connected vehicle test environment for a period of three years (2015-2018).
  • The AACVTE will transition from research mode to an operational deployment.
  • UMTRI and its partners aim to transition from a government-funded project to one that is self-sustaining.

How many vehicles will be in the AACVTE?

UMTRI plans to deploy 1,500 vehicles a year, over three years.  The goal is to have 5,000 vehicles on the road by 2018.

Please describe the technology that is being installed.

The majority of vehicles will be equipped with a Vehicle Awareness Device (VAD).  Several hundred vehicles will be equipped with an After-market Safety Devices (ASD).   VADs transmit a basic safety message (BSM) at the rate of 10 times a second.  ASDs transmit and receive a BSM.

What is a Basic Safety Message (BSM)?

The VAD and ASD continuously transmit speed and position data from the participating vehicle to other, similarly equipped vehicles, as well as into the surrounding environment where this information can be recognized by research equipment located along the roadside and at intersections. The information transmission in this study occurs during the participant’s usual everyday driving.

What does the installation include?

The installation includes the VAD, a small box hidden out of sight in the vehicle’s trunk or rear area, and two small antennas – one on or near the rear windshield and another either on the trunk lid or the vehicle’s roof.

How is this message communicated?

The BSM is communicated wirelessly on a dedicated channel set aside for this purpose by the FCC.  The frequency, 5.9 Ghz, was set aside in 1999 to support intelligent transportation systems.

Are drivers being tracked or monitored in any way?

No. While the data broadcast by the vehicles does include a unique identifier, the data gathered is confidential. Data is collected for research purposes only.

How many roadside devices will be deployed?

The larger deployment will include 45 street locations
 and 12 freeway sites.