Connected Vehicle Desk Reference and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Benefits Estimation Tool

Connected vehicle

Connected Vehicle Desk Reference and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Benefits Estimation Tool

During the last 20 years, the development of connected vehicle technologies has advanced significantly. Testbed demonstrations continue to get bigger and more complex. Transportation agencies and metropolitan planning organizations are eager to evaluate vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications in pursuit of connected vehicle (CV) environments. Since these public entities operate in competitive fiscal environments, they want to understand the economic impacts before adopting V2I and CV technologies. HDR developed methods published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in its Desk Reference and Tools for Estimating the Local, Regional, and State-Wide Economic Development Benefits of Connected Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployments. This manual helps local and state agencies make the case for CV adoption. 

Our project team collaborated with FHWA staff to build on commonly used methodologies, such as benefit-cost and economic-impact analyses. We examined approaches published in recent federal guides on the economic analysis of transportation investments, and we parsed literature on the classification of V2I applications, evidence of V2I impacts and benefits, and formalized state practices and tools for measuring economic impacts and economic development benefits.

Two primary deliverables were derived from the literature review: the desk reference and the V2I Benefits Estimate Tool (VBET), a spreadsheet-based tool for assessing the potential benefits and economic impacts associated with implementing V2I technologies. The tools provide a framework for ongoing benefit-cost and economic impact analyses of V2I technologies, and consideration of potential economic development impacts. Each preliminary design concept was reviewed by multiple stakeholders, including FHWA, the ITS Joint Program Office and their stakeholders, and then shared with a local agency for feedback. 

The desk reference targets policy makers most likely to undertake V2I investments sooner rather than later. It was designed to support users who have a range of exposure to these applications and experience with economic analysis.

Built to accompany the desk reference, VBET is a user-friendly, computer-based tool that works with the output of other FHWA-supported V2I cost estimation and prioritization tools to support decision making for V2I deployment. It allows users to input local information about proposed V2I deployment and customize locally specific estimates of benefits. The VBET system pulls in previously neglected — but necessary — data, such as vehicle penetration rates and other assumptions critical for estimating impacts of V2I initiatives. The following four key capabilities allow the user to estimate V2I benefits by helping them:

  1. Investigate Potential Impact of V2I Applications
  2. Identify Other Appropriate Economic Tools and Methods
  3. Conduct Economic Analysis of V2I Applications
  4. Get Help with the Tool

The tools were structured to incorporate new data as it becomes available on the direct and indirect impacts of V2I applications and as the number of V2I deployments grow.

Connected vehicle
Federal Highway Administration

Nationwide, DC
United States