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WGI’s Glenn Havinoviski Helps Write the Book on Cooperative ITS

WGI’s Manager of Transportation Technologies and Connected Communities, Glenn Havinoviski, recently authored two chapters of a major new textbook.
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The textbook is entitled “Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems: Towards High-Level Automated Driving”, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology based in the UK.

We sat down with Glenn to ask him about his experience writing for a textbook and the topic of cooperative intelligent transportation systems (C-ITS).

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Hi Glenn, how did you come to write these two chapters for the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems: Towards High-Level Automated Driving textbook?

One of my former colleagues has been heavily involved with international standards for connected and automated vehicles, and he recalled my involvement several years ago on the International Standardization Organization (ISO) ITS Architecture working group. Given I’d been heavily involved in developing ITS planning guidelines for Caltrans, and had been assisting other agencies in planning for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), he thought I’d be well suited for this book, and connected me with the book’s editor, Meng Lu. She told me to keep it to 18 pages, gave me a draft outline of the desired content, and in keeping with my usual standards of brevity, I wrote 55 pages. Meng Lu, to her credit, decided the content should be broken into two chapters.

Give us a brief summary of the key topics within the chapters? What are a few things we can expect to learn from reading them?

First of all, the book was written for an international audience, and as such, the book uses terminology such as Cooperative ITS, or C-ITS, to describe what we have been referring to in the U.S. as Connected and Automated Vehicles, or CAVs. I wrote two chapters of the book. 

One chapter addresses the development of ITS architectures, in other words, the institutional, functional, physical and communications frameworks for planning and implementing technology systems and projects supporting both ITS and CAV activities.   

The other chapter I wrote addresses data and communications standards involving wireless “vehicle to everything” (V2X) activities as well as communications between different systems and services. Examples of projects that have deployed V2X, including several U.S. Connected Vehicle deployments, are provided. While the main driver for C-ITS, especially in the U.S., has been collision avoidance and traveler safety, other functions such as traffic management and traveler information can benefit from the data provided by the vehicle. 

I think it’s useful to the reader to understand how technology that has been used for managing the transportation system, whether it be traffic signals, traffic sensors, electronic toll collection, or cameras, or electronic signing displays, is evolving because of data and information that can be gathered from the vehicles themselves. Florida, Texas, and many other state DOTs have been making commitments to Connected Vehicle activities as well as making sure that systems are in place that provide value to travelers (e.g., mobile phone-based information and services) who don’t yet have Connected Vehicle technologies.  Public transit and freight vehicles also stand to benefit from C-ITS in order to provide traffic signal priority,  enable scheduling and preparation for freight deliveries into port facilities, and monitoring of route and weather conditions by the transportation department or authority. 

What did you learn from writing the chapters?  

The work being done in C-ITS is not being done in a vacuum.  It builds on years of transportation operations experience and leverages many current programs and technologies in order to transition into this new and exciting transportation era. In many ways, it differs from a lot of the activities going on in the automated vehicle world, where many of the companies are working to upend a lot of our notions of transportation, and in some cases have not looked at vehicle interconnectivity as a priority.   

It was also clear as I was writing these chapters that every country and region has different perspectives on how systems and services should be standardized. The U.S. has the reputation for being more “hands-off” in its transportation policies compared to Europe.  However, because of our Federal transportation funding scheme, the use of a common National ITS Architecture (now known as ARC-IT) is mandated for each state or region that wants to implement transportation technology activities on a National Highway System route or using Federal funds.  In Europe, on the other hand,  each country and often, each project,  requires more work to be done in formulating their own system architecture, and while there are extensive programs and tools to help cities, states, and systems communicate and coordinate with one another, there is not a singular platform to facilitate it. As such, vendors and agencies are often doing similar projects in parallel.  Countries such as Japan, China, and Australia use a hybrid of the U.S. and European approaches.  On the other hand, Canada and Mexico essentially use U.S. architecture as their basis for ITS program development.

Do you have any advice for students studying from this textbook?

It is important to recognize the depth and breadth of the content here. The focus of the book is ultimately on how connected wireless communications and transportation management systems can be used to better harness the benefits of vehicle automation in the future. But it is important to realize, as WGI Chairman David Wantman has said regarding transportation technology, that there is no one person that knows where everything is going.  In this book, while it is “technology-neutral”, you will find authors that bring different perspectives and insights into C- ITS, both from a research perspective as well as a design and operations perspective, which is where I am far more familiar. My own nature has been to bring a broad background encompassing different transportation applications (e.g., traffic on streets, traffic on highways, bus rapid transit, parking information) and developing regional system frameworks, concepts of operation, and system designs. For others, there may be a focus on a particular area of excellence and specialty. I think with this book, the student can obtain a broad background, but can also decide if there is a particular area of specialty in this field that they have an affinity for. 

How do you think these chapters can positively impact students learning from the textbook?

In my chapters, I’ve attempted to bring a historical as well as first-hand perspective so that the individual can relate what they see today with what is happening in the future. They should also be able to understand the roles that the public sector agency or transportation authority plays in managing the transportation system, and how C-ITS will enable these services to evolve, even as vehicle automation introduces new challenges for the agency or authority.

What is your biggest takeaway from this experience?

It is impossible at this stage to develop an exhaustive view of everything there is to know about C-ITS in the U.S., let alone overseas. If there is anything I’ve learned, especially the last 10 years, it’s that everything is changing more rapidly than ever. I noticed how quickly things were changing in the C-ITS world even over the 8 weeks in which I was drafting the chapters. In particular, V2X communications have been affected greatly by changing policies both in the U.S. and Europe. What was a dedicated radio frequency bandwidth of 75 MHz in the U.S. in the 5.9 GHz band for transportation safety (Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC) is now very likely to be reduced sharply, with private telecommunications providers essentially controlling most or all of the bandwidth. Plus, while the Connected Vehicle pilots in Tampa, New York City and Wyoming have received a great deal of publicity (along with a collection of connected traffic signal projects across the U.S. sponsored by AASHTO entitled the Signal Phasing and Timing, or SPaT Challenge), there are numerous smaller initiatives underway or that have been completed.

How does your expertise in ITS, connected vehicles, and these emerging technologies help provide better solutions for WGI’s clients? 

While many of the largest state DOTs and mobility/expressway authorities (including the ones WGI works for) are industry leaders in ITS and connected vehicles, there are numerous local and county agencies that need assistance in understanding what the new technologies mean to them, how they could benefit from them, and whether they are prepared for emerging mobility trends. Some areas where we bring our unique perspective include express and managed lane operations,  addressing mobility in local communities including complete streets and Smart City solutions, and understanding how new technologies can benefit transportation system management and operations (TSM&O). Part of my job since coming to WGI is also seeing how we can leverage our geospatial (especially our LiDAR surveying capability), GIS and utility coordination services to help agencies be physically prepared for automated vehicles, as well as to assist either public agencies or contractors in the process for locating and obtaining permits for installation of both 5G small-cell sites and large-cell towers that will likely become a critical component of future V2X communications.

Thanks for your time Glenn, and congratulations on being published! Follow the link to learn more about WGI’s New Mobility services. 

Below you can learn more about the “Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems: Towards High-Level Automated Driving” textbook and the two chapters authored by Glenn.

Book description:

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) have been a domain of substantial development for more than thirty years, enhancing safety, (energy and fuel) efficiency, comfort, and economic growth. cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS), also referred to as connected vehicles, are a prelude to, and pave the way for road transport automation. Vehicle connectivity and information exchange will be an important asset for the future of highly-automated driving. The book provides a comprehensive insight into the state of the art of C-ITS and automated driving especially addresses the important role of ICT (information and communication technologies) infrastructure, and presents the main achievements (both theory and practice) and the challenges in the domain in Europe, the US, and Asia/Pacific.

Part II-Chapter 3:  Architecture of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, by Glenn Havinoviski, WGI:

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce various initiatives related to developing an overall system architecture for Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS). C-ITS is also often programmatically referred to in North America as ‘Connected Vehicles (CVs)’.  It includes introductions to Vehicle -to -Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle -to -Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle -to -Everything (V2X) wireless communications, as well as a historical and current view of systems architecture frameworks for regional development of C-ITS in a transportation operations environment.

Part II-Chapter 9:  Standards and V2X Implementation, by Glenn Havinoviski, WGI:

The chapter introduces the development of standards for C -ITS, as well as C -ITS implementation. Regarding standards, this section references a number of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs). The focus areas presented here relate to wireless (also frequently referred to as ‘over-the-air’) mobile communications interfaces between central systems and other centres, road infrastructure, and vehicles or other mobile devices, which may entail some combination of wireline and wireless communications.

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