NC Transportation Center of Excellence on Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technology (NC-CAV) 

Use-Case 1: Feasibility Study for deployment of CAVs between the NCAT Campus and Greensboro Downtown

NC-CAV in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center aims the investigation of the feasibility study for the implementation of on-demand-mobility solutions for urban transportation. As a use-case, NC-CAV conducts a feasibility study for connecting N.C. A&T campus to downtown Greensboro with Downtown Greensboro as a stakeholder. This project investigates the required infrastructure, the number of vehicles, the number and location of stops, the average service time, and the service capacity.

Use-Case 2: Prototyping and developing a CAV-testbed

Another use-case of NC-CAV is to prototype and enhance the autonomy level of two electric golf carts provided by Downtown Greensboro by leveraging the equipment support (sensors and computer systems) provided by NCAT College of Engineering to form a heterogeneous fleet of CAVs to implement the cooperative control algorithms for CAVs. Each vehicle communicates with other vehicles, and traffic intersection signaling systems, and handles pedestrians with enhanced autonomy level by equipping the vehicles with autonomous navigation, control sensing, data fusion, and decision-making tools for autonomous driving in urban environments. The use case further includes the conduct of preliminary tests of the developed testbed on the selected route between the NCAT campus and downtown Greensboro. 

NC-CAV also leverages the equipment in the ITRE’s Mobile Remote Sensing and Data Collection Lab to set up the experiment and evaluate the CAV deployments. Further, the researchers at NC-CAV have access to equipment from the Signal Control Laboratory as an outdoor signal laboratory to enable communication with the developed CAV testbed. Verizon and the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina (WRC) support the CAV-UAV applications by offering 5G communication and portable towers to provide communication links for connecting vehicles and UAVs.

Use-Case 3: Demonstration of the UAV application for traffic management

NC-CAV uses a UAV application such as tethered to determine the way a passenger vehicle, could be monitored, how that data could be sent back to a TMC, and the type of data that could be captured and used for traffic management purposes. In addition, the research team provides a list of possible future research directions that can be explored by NCDOT in a similar vein of emergency incident management and include other state departments such as the NCSHP. 

Field experiment and testing  

The developed CAV testbed can be tested on NCAT’s dedicated test track. Further, the Greensboro Department of Transportation provides access to the intersection at Benbow Road and Bluford Street for testing the developed autonomous vehicles and installing smart signaling equipment to connect with CAVs.  Alternatively, the field testing of the connectivity of the developed CAVs to transportation infrastructures can be performed at the NCDOT SPaT Challenge Corridor on NC-55 in Cary, NC.