U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Skip to content

Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-13-052    Date:  May 2013
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-13-052
Date: May 2013


The Exploratory Advanced Research Program

Vehicle Positioning, Navigation, and Timing: Leveraging Results From EAR Program-Sponsored Research



Disseminating Project Results and Future Research Needs
David Kuehn, EAR Program, FHWA

David Kuehn initiated a discussion on sharing project results. Kuehn asked, from maps to ITS, what data can be shared?

It was stated that data from the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program should be available soon. This will allow users to examine the formats of data so that they can best use the data.

The question of what is "state of the art" was also put forward. It was noted that the commercial world is now deploying, at a reasonable price, some of the concepts presented today.

Discussion proceeded to cover the IMU in long vehicles (e.g., buses and trucks) and the sensitivity issue and problem of losing the GPS signal. It was highlighted that in sharp turns, the distance from the center of gravity or rotation could be issues. Jay Farrell stated that center of gravity is not as important as using the center of axle position. It was suggested that robust control systems are needed and that multiple sensors are required to assist these issues.

Several mapping issues that concern intersection geometry were discussed as follows:

Bridge height was put forward as another issue, because it is not correctly mapped or displayed. In addition, truckers may not know the correct height of their vehicles.

Test sites were also discussed, and it was noted that there was limited instrumented data from Michigan; the Honda site is the only one with a surveyed urban forest. It is important to have a greater variety of test sites or to have one test site that has great variety of test scenarios.

There was a discussion on having a larger follow-up workshop on positioning and navigation; however, it was also suggested that the commercial world may solve these problems before this group gets around to discussing them.

Other discussion topics included lane control and intersection control, the need for living laboratories, and the need of test beds to simulate age-of-road conditions.

It was also suggested that there should be more collaboration, including the potential for Auburn and Riverside to run each other's tests. Moreover, to cut down on testing costs, perhaps rental cars with mounted devices could be used.

During discussion, it was noted that no sensors talk to each other in modern-day automobiles. It was suggested that these sensors could communicate via the controller area network data bus or some other data-sharing mechanism. In addition, there needs to be time-stamped raw data.

The final discussion pertained to what research government should be involved in. The question of whether the lack of inoperability is because of lack of interest or a problem with future competitors was also highlighted.

The meeting ended with a tour of the laboratory and an opportunity to ride in the Auburn University test vehicle, pictured in figure 11.

A research vehicle with equipment mounted on the roof is pictured in front of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

Figure 11. Photo. Test vehicle outside the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.



Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101