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Authors:  Herbie Huff, Juan Matute, Doreen Zhao, Agustin Garcia

Date: January 12, 2015

Project: Transit Applications of Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Technology

Advances in mobile devices, wired and wireless information connectivity, and computing power make possible new forms of traffic management and control. In a near-term future where vehicles, signals, and central traffic control servers are all connected, what would be the implications for public transit? What role would transit play? In this paper, we describe some ways in which vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications can be applied to public transit, focusing on changes in transit stations and service typically controlled by public agencies. We review some novel and emerging applications of such technology that could improve transit service and operational efficiency. These include: real-time communications via display devices at transit stations and stops, anti-bunching feedback protocols, crash prevention sensors, dynamic routing in response to nonrecurring congestion, and dynamically managed lanes which enable transit priority. Each of these promises unique benefits, and offers unique implementation challenges. Taken as a whole, they give a sense of the potential of connected transit systems. We conclude by discussing the path to implementation and the questions that remain.

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