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CAV News Digest - Vol. 5 No. 1 - April 2021

Barry Einsig



Edge Computing and the Cooperative
Transportation Systems


Many proponents of leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within the traffic management industry are excited about Edge Computing. The challenge is that as a stand-alone device, it is not the solution. However, it is an important component of an end-to-end robust, secure, network architecture in support of Cooperative Automated Transportation Systems (CATS). In order to unravel this confusion, we need to step back and consider the significance of Edge Computing.


CATS is a system designed for motorized Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) of all types. However, in order to create true equitability, CATS must also include all non-motorized forms of transportation, including micro-mobility devices, bicycles, and most importantly pedestrians. In order to accomplish this, we need to look at the functionality of this system from a complex, robust, real-time, and secure data exchange perspective. We must also address the requirement for standardization and reverse compatibility over an extended period of time.


Considering the relationship of CATS to the internet, the concept of Edge Computing would be comparable to your personal smartphone, tablet, etc. There is network connectivity to various communication paths, including access to computing applications for individual purposes. However, the real value and intelligence of the smartphone lies in the end-to-end next-level computing from the data center of your cellular provider, or the cloud service provider over the secure wide-area wired and wireless network. It is the data exchange that your individual device facilitates that enables all of the various functions you know and enjoy. The IoT or Transportation Edge device functions the same way. Without a fully secure, robust, designed, deployed, operated, maintained networked solution with the purpose-built applications and data systems, the edge device will be challenged to add value similar to your phone being set to airplane mode.


Before we get too far into solving the technical challenges, we need to address the business model. To me, there are three primary business models and all of them have value and will likely be deployed. First, because CATS involves infrastructure-based public safety and mobility, it may not have a financial return for the infrastructure owner/stakeholder. Instead, it will serve the public good, providing a need for public sector design, build, operation, maintenance, and regular tech updates will be one of the business models. Second, because mobility applications are more focused on private sector fleet operators, or vehicle manufactures, a private sector or service provider network model will be the preferred method to deliver CATS. Third, a hybrid approach of public-private partnerships built to a common set of standards will be the most prevalent business model, in the same way, the Internet is delivered over public and private networks today.


So, it is important to keep this in mind when evaluating how and where edge computing will be part of your end-to-end CATS. If you would like to discuss this further, I welcome the opportunity. Please reach out to me any time at beinsig@econolite.com



Mission Statement

1. Georgia, Texas Partner for Next-Gen Transportation Innovation


The Story: The Ray, a highway testbed in Georgia, is partnering with Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the city of Austin to explore transportation opportunities.


The Takeaway: “The partnership with The Ray will offer the opportunity to investigate and potentially test a wide range of innovative processes and technologies,” said Steve Pustelnyk, director of community relations at the Mobility Authority.


In Georgia, The Ray has been involved in projects as diverse as helping to develop and test new technologies in highway striping to accommodate advanced driving systems (ADS) technology. The highway has also led the way in developing connected vehicle technology in the state and a large solar field located in right of way. In a report The Ray helped draft, researchers found interstate exits have the potential to generate some 36 terawatts of energy per year, which equals about 1 percent of U.S. electricity consumption. 


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

2. USDOT's Connected Vehicle Pilot In Florida, The New Phase - Interview With Bob Frey


The Story: Traffic Technology Today features an exclusive interview with Innovation Director and CV Project Manager at Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) about the next phase of the project.


The Takeaway: In this exclusive interview, Bob Frey reveals more about the unique fourth stage of the CV project, involving automotive OEMs. Plus, more news and conversation with Tom Stone and Saul Wordsworth.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

3. Major Smart Cities Infrastructure Project Includes Raleigh’s EDJX, Its Edge-Computing Platform


The Story: Raleigh-based EDJX Inc., which has developed a distributed edge-computing platform, will be part of a major public infrastructure project intended to develop smart cities, beginning in Austin, TX. Raleigh is interested.


The Takeaway: The Autonomy Institute, a cooperative research consortium focused on advancing and accelerating Autonomy and AI, has announced plans to launch the Public Infrastructure Network Node (PINN) Pilot at Texas Military Department in Austin. The Institute is based in that city.


The PINN initiative is the first unified open standard to support 5G wireless, Edge Computing, Radar, Lidar, Enhanced GPS, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). PINNs are designed to deliver a multitude of advanced edge sensors and computing capabilities urgently needed to support autonomy and IoT. That includes autonomous and connected vehicle technologies and others that require the speed provided by an edge-computing platform such as the EDJX product. Sensors and computers close to each other share information with less delay due to distance.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

4. Momenta Raises $500 Million for Automated Driving Technology


The Story: Momenta, a Beijing-based developer of autonomous vehicle technology, raised a $500 million Series C round of funding. The round was led by SAIC Motor, China's biggest automaker, Toyota, and Bosch. Momenta has now raised more than $700 million since it was founded in 2016. 


The Takeaway: Momenta is developing what it calls the “brain” of autonomous vehicles, using deep learning to create perception, HD mapping, and path planning capabilities. It has said that its camera-based HD mapping uses low-cost consumer-grade sensor sets, which consist of camera, GPS, and IMU, to automatically generate HD maps with 10cm level relative accuracy. The maps include rich geometry features, such as traffic signs, poles, lane borders, traffic lights, road markings, as well as road level and lane level topology and semantic features, according to Momenta.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.


5. NEMA Sets Connected Vehicle Standard


The Story: The US National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published a new standard for deploying communications technologies in connected vehicle (CV) infrastructure.


The Takeaway: The NEMA TS 10-2020 Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Roadside Equipment enables the coexistence of multiple communication technologies for connected vehicle roadside infrastructure. The Standard is a harmonized technical specification that facilitates vehicles-to-infrastructure communication regardless of the type of device or underlying technology.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

About CAVita


CAVita is a strategic consultancy focused on connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) that was formed in 2015 by seasoned and highly respected ITS industry executives Abbas Mohaddes and Peter Sweatman to provide public and private companies, municipalities, and organizations with the deep expertise required to successfully navigate and take advantage of transportation’s evolution.


Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Econolite, CAVita maintains extensive contacts with decision-makers in vehicle and infrastructure technology, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), mobility systems for people and freight, technology companies, CAV deployment and testing consortia, leading research universities, and broader parts of the ecosystem including telecommunications, data analytics, logistics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and insurance. Furthermore, CAVita’s Econolite affiliation affords unparalleled access to a broad array of engineering resources, ITS expertise, and deployment capabilities.


CAVita’s clients include some of the transportation industry’s leading organizations, such as the two largest transportation research institutes, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Other clients include the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and numerous private companies.


Contact CAVita today to discuss how we can help you accomplish your connected and automated vehicle goals!

CAV News Digest is a production of CAVita, LLC, an Econolite company.


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