Frequently Asked Questions
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What is a smart testbed?
I-STREET facilities are used to demonstrate and develop emerging technologies and transportation solutions for real-world demonstration and testing. The main goals of the testbed are to:
- Improve mobility and safety on campus and around Gainesville
- Facilitate the development and implementation of advanced technologies invented at UF
- Quantify the minimum criteria for operators to safely engage with automated vehicles
- Assist industry and foster collaborations for developing and testing prototype technologies
- Become a model nationally and internationally for the use of advanced transportation technologies
- Leverage the testbed to advance education, technology transfer, and outreach to transportation professionals across the country.
When will the testing begin and end?
Testing of all technologies will be ongoing throughout the entire 5 year duration of the current project. It is anticipated that the testbed will become a permanent fixture at the University of Florida and testing will go on indefinitely. The scope and duration of specific projects can be found on the list of projects page (link).
Who is leading the testbed effort?
The testbed is a joint effort between the University of Florida, the City of Gainesville, and the Florida Department of Transportation. The UFTI is leading the effort in coordinating projects and communicating the efforts to the public. For specific projects and their primary investigators, visit the infrastructure and projects page (link).
What will the UFTI do to ensure the safety of the public when testing autonomous vehicles?
Any time vehicles are being tested as part of the testbed measures are taken to ensure the safety of motorists, surrounding pedestrians and bicyclists. A safety management plan has been developed for all technology tested at iSTREET. The level of risk for each technology is assessed based on the ISO 26262 ASIL risk assessment approach, and a safety operational concept has been developed for each scenario identified as high or medium risk. The document can be found on the website (link).
Will the cars be completely driver-less during testing?
The UF NAVIGator will have a driver in the vehicle at all times even when running in autonomous mode.
How will the testbed affect pedestrians?
A goal of I-STREET is to improve the user experience and safety of pedestrians. This is achieved by making vehicles more aware of pedestrian presence at mid-block crossings and signalized intersections. Other potential applications include apps that make pedestrians aware of approaching vehicles, interact with traffic signals, and anonymously track pedestrian movement to improve planning efforts.
Where will testing take place?
Testing of technologies will occur at different locations on the UF campus, City of Gainesville, and the surrounding roadways. Maps of planned infrastructure enhancements for each project are available online (link).
What type of vehicles are being tested?
An autonomous shuttle service is currently planned for operation between the downtown area and the UF campus. These vehicles are expected to be in operation in the Spring of 2018. Additionally UF operates the NAVIGator, an autonomous vehicle developed here at UF. Connected vehicle technology is also being deployed to allow vehicle communication to other equipped vehicles and infrastructure such as traffic signals. Information about all ongoing and planned projects can be found under Current Projects Section of the website (link).
What type of technologies are being tested?
The I-STREET Team is testing technology related to three main areas:
- Safety Applications for improved public safety through connected vehicle systems; smart work zones using CV systems; improved bicyclist, skateboarders, scooter, and pedestrian safety; enhanced rail-road crossings notification and improved at-grade crossings; road weather notifications; and the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in transportation management.
- Mobility Applications for improved traffic flow throughput and travel-time reliability for all modes through efficient and intelligent traffic signals; intelligent parking systems (cars and trucks); freight delivery applications; and improved first- and last-mile connectivity.
- Data Management Applications for cost effective data sharing and management through use of vehicular data for fleet management and public safety; the use of traffic data for predictive analytics, decision support systems, dashboard applications, and third-party dissemination using cellular/Wi-Fi/Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC); and improved data sharing agreements between private party and local/state agencies. The use of Internet of Things (IOT) elements can also play a role in iSTREET.
Are there any opportunities for the community to get involved and test any of this new technology?
There will be many opportunities for the community to get involved with testing of various technology. The autonomous shuttle project will be open to the public and feedback is always appreciated. Mobile apps will be developed for many solutions and the use and feedback from these apps is vital to our evaluation of these technologies. Incentives to test certain applications will be posted on the website and through other media outlets. If you have any specific questions on how to get involved please feel free to contact the testbed manager, Clark Letter (link).