New York City Connected Vehicle Overheight Warning System

NYC Overpass

New York City Connected Vehicle Overheight Warning System

New York is a city full of complex infrastructure designed and built at different times in its long history — and for different purposes. Consequently, its bridges and tunnels vary widely in clearance restrictions.

Embracing the potential of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA) partnered with us in January 2017 to evaluate the feasibility of an overheight warning system using connected vehicle technology. Stated simply, the idea is to warn truck drivers when their payloads exceed an infrastructure height restriction, and to give them enough advanced warning that they can re-route. 

Concept of Operations

We developed a comprehensive concept of operations (ConOps) for a connected vehicle overheight vehicle warning and traveler information pilot project. The pilot focuses on the inbound Queens Midtown Tunnel although our final ConOps includes provisions for full build-out to all MTA and TBTA tunnels and overpasses. The Queens Midtown Tunnel restricts vehicles to a maximum height of 12 feet and 1 inch. Many trucks on the road extend above that height to 13 feet, 6 inches.

Among other considerations, we included the functional requirements, system architecture, locations for device installation, regulatory licensing procedure, procurement approach and cost estimates. We also outlined multiple scenarios, addressing potential interactions between the warning system and the operator of a hypothetical vehicle that is overheight. Our ConOps integrates with New York's existing transportation technology deployments.

Serving also as a technology reference, the ConOps summarizes and accounts for:

  • V2I technology, including the utility of the SAE J2735 message set to convey V2I information
  • the U.S. Department of Transportation’s plan for connected vehicle network security and the implications for MTA
  • SAE J2735 (dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) message set delivery)
  • SAE J2540 (international traveler information systems phrase list)
  • SAE J2945 (on-board system requirements for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety communications)
  • IEEE 1609.2 and 802.11p (family standards for WAVE and wireless security) 


Following our first draft of the ConOps, we facilitated a workshop with stakeholders and agency staff to review it and gather feedback. In addition to creating a forum for Q&A, this ultimately allowed us to refine the final draft, addressing the concept with greater degrees of clarity and detail.

NYC Overpass
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority

New York, NY
United States