Cost/Benefit Analysis of Fuel Efficient Speed Control Using Signal Phasing and Timing (SPaT) Data: Evaluation for Future Connected Corridor Deployment

Principal Investigator(s):

Michael Levin, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


Project summary:

This project is studying the potential benefits to drivers of wider deployment of Signal Phasing and Timing (SPaT) intersections in Minnesota. Specifically, researchers are addressing the following questions: 1) What are typical eco-driving benefits that could be achieved when driving through a SPaT corridor? 2) At what market penetrations of SPaT ACC vehicles will the benefits be sufficient to justify the cost of instrumenting more corridors with SPaT? and 3) Which corridors should be prioritized for SPaT deployment?

The fuel efficiency benefits achieved by SPaT broadcasts requires integration of two technologies: 1) SPaT infrastructure deployed on arterial corridors (such as TH-55), and 2) speed-control automation in vehicles. Currently, most vehicle manufacturers are integrating adaptive cruise control (ACC), which attempts to maintain a target speed but slows down to avoid collisions in car-following modes. This ACC could use SPaT data and traffic estimation to adjust the target speed on arterial corridors for vehicles equipped with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.

Anticipating future signal phases creates significant opportunities for individual vehicles to optimize their speed profiles on arterial corridors. Major sources of fuel consumption are acceleration and deceleration cycles caused by stopping at red lights; acceleration from a full stop requires significant power.

Due to rising fuel costs and environmental impact, consumers are increasingly aware of fuel efficiency (MPG) in the vehicles they purchase, which is reflected in increasing hybrid and electric vehicle sales. Fuel efficiency directly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and the transportation sector accounted for around 29% of US emissions in 2018.

Project details: