United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) specialty Vehicle Field Operational Test

Principal Investigator(s):

Max Donath, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

The University of Minnesota has been a partner in the USDOT-sponsored Specialty Vehicles Field Operational Test (FOT). The project team is made up of MnDOT, the University of Minnesota, and 3M, who provided a magnetic-based lateral-guidance system. The purpose of the FOT was to integrate vehicle-guidance and collision-avoidance technologies into a comprehensive driver-assistive system used to improve driver vision under conditions of low visibility. The FOT was originally proposed and executed as a three-year, multi-phased program. Year One prepared the infrastructure on Highway 7, designed vehicle systems and interfaces to support the operational test, and performed initial integration work for the Human-Machine Interface (HMI). Infrastructure that was installed included three DGPS receivers and broadcast stations and six visibility sensor stations located at periodic intervals along Highway 7. The focus of Year Two was to verify and document the performance of the infrastructure designed and installed in Year One, install, test, and debug vehicle systems, and perform validation exercises on the results of the HMI work. For both the infrastructure and HMI, changes and modifications to the respective systems were made to improve on-road performance. Once vehicle systems were verified, operator training was performed, and data collection and analysis methods and procedures were put in place to facilitate an independent evaluation of the work performed for this contract. The aim of Year Three was to actually perform the FOT and provide data and results to the independent government evaluator. Due to an unusually mild winter and the resulting inability to collect a great deal of data, the program was extended to include a fourth year. The fourth year (2002-2003) had a winter as mild as the previous winter. As a result, a closed test-track evaluation was performed rather than an operational test. A report documenting the results and conclusions will be published. F

Project details:

  • Project number: 2000037
  • Start date: 10/1999
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Intelligent vehicles, Safety