Gathering Vehicular Parameters through a Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Intelligent Transportation System

Abstract and project information last updated: 24 March 2011. Project updates are dated below.

Credit: Jeffrey Miller

Project Team, left to right, Professors Sun-il Kim, Jeffrey Miller and Muhammad Ali visiting the Carlile Trucking Facility in Anchorage, Alaska

Jeffrey Miller (UAA)

US Department of Transportation (RITA)


1 August 2010
End Date
31 December 2011


An Intelligent Transportation System combines communications technology, data, and transportation infrastructure to supply city planners and other decision-makers with information on how and when traffic moves, particularly in an urban area. This project will build on the successes of an ongoing AUTC project, “Assessment of Traffic Congestion in Anchorage Utilizing Vehicle-Tracking Devices and Intelligent Transportation System Technology,” which currently tracks the speed, location, and direction of vehicles in Anchorage, Alaska. Current ITS systems collect only data on speed, location, and a unique (and anonymous) identifier. Additional data can easily be gathered and transmitted to a central server through a vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) architecture. The V2I architecture allows data to be transmitted as a text message from individual vehicles through the cellular network to a central server. Using the On Board Diagnostics port of a vehicle will allow data from the vehicle’s computer system to be gathered and transmitted over the V2I network. Although much of this data is specific to the make and model of the vehicle, there are several commonalities, including engine revolutions per minute, fuel consumption, and rate of acceleration/deceleration. Many vehicles also include engine temperature and tire slippage; others include cabin and outside temperatures, and tire pressure and rotation. For vehicles whose computer system does not report tire slippage, custom sensors will be created to identify locations where a vehicle is not able to secure traction easily. This project will develop four applications for study: 1. It will build on the ongoing project, tracking vehicle speed, locations, and direction. As more vehicles are equipped with reporting devices, determination of congestion, speed, and travel time will improve. This data is already available via a program called FreeSim, at 2. Gathering the fuel consumption, engine temperature, and outside temperature will allow tracking of differences in air quality based on different seasons and weather patterns. 3. Tracking the effect of cold weather on engines will aid in determining ways in which to lower fuel consumption and improve operating costs for vehicles during the cold months. 4. Identifying locations where vehicles relay data on tire slippage will allow alerts to drivers through a web interface (and possibly text messages) as to the location of dangerous road conditions. A message will also be sent to public works facilities so they can decide whether or not to dispatch someone to sand the area where the slippage occurred. Although most ITS applications assume that distributed real-time vehicular data is available, no studies make data available to other researchers in real time. This project will release data to other researchers and to the public. The people of Anchorage and Alaska will be able to use FreeSim to determine current traffic conditions based on live, real-time data. This interface will also show the location of slippery roadways. As time goes on, more vehicles will be equipped with similar devices, along with vehicle fleets already participating in the project.