February 2014 CVRIA Workshop Summary

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Workshop Profile

A second Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA) workshop was held on 19-20 February, 2014 in San Francisco, CA. The goal of the workshop was to provide stakeholders with an update on the progress made to revise the architecture views to reflect feedback; and to elicit stakeholder input for the interface and standards needs of the broader connected vehicle environment (as described by the CVRIA)— both near term and over the long term. Specifically, this input is being used to assist the USDOT to identify gaps where new or updated standards may be needed, and to prioritize these development efforts.

Over sixty stakeholders attended the workshop including representatives from the automotive industry, state departments of transportation, academia and research and development organizations, equipment manufacturers, and the wireless and information technology industries. Many of these stakeholders came with specific modal (e.g., transit, freight) interests and expertise.

The initial plenary session on the 19th focused first on informing the stakeholders on the CVRIA and how to understand and interpret the different "views." Additional effort was spent describing how the large number of interfaces can be categorized in order to allow for detailed discussion of where gaps in standards may exist. Discussion also focused on the "interface attributes." These first-day presentations and discussions formed the basis for three specialized breakout group discussions on the second day, with each group examining two types of interfaces from the following list:

The composition of the stakeholder community present at the workshop was heavily weighted toward those with expertise and interest in the application layers; which was expected given the maturity of many lower-layer wide area wireless network applications and standards (e.g., 3GPP/cellular) and the resources already devoted toward Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) standards. While several common topics, such as security, were discussed in the breakouts, the wide range of applications was a noteworthy conversation. Moreover, even in this modest sized group, several stakeholders offered discussion about very specific applications that are not part of the currently envisioned set of CVRIA use cases.

Specific and specialized recommendations from various subject matter experts were provided at the end of the two-day workshop; these are described below. In conclusion, the CVRIA project team gathered, from these discussions, that there is a stated need for widely promulgated and complete data dictionaries, accompanied by a large menu of message sets that can essentially be mixed and matched to address the range of current and prospective Connected Vehicle applications.

Workshop Agenda

9:00 – 9:30: Overview, Agenda, Opening Remarks, & Introductions
9:30 – 10:00: Background – Program Goals & Objectives
10:00 – 10:30: Goals & Objectives of Workshop
10:30 – 10:45: Break
10:45 – 11:30: CVRIA Background, Status, Definitions
11:30 – 12:30: Review of Read-Ahead Package and Q&A
12:30 – 2:00: Lunch
2:00 – 4:00: Breakout Session #1
4:00 – 5:00: Open Discussion/Comment/Q&A
4:00 – 5:00: Open Discussion/Comment/Q&A

9:00 – 9:15: Open Discussion, Recap of Day 1
9:15 – 10:30: Breakout Session #2
10:30 – 10:45: Break
10:45 – 12:00: Breakout Session #2 (continued)
12:00 – 1:30: Lunch
1:30 – 1:45: Closing Remarks
1:45 – forward: Open Discussion (optional)

Notes – Day 1 (19-Feb-2014)

General Session

The first day plenary session provided background and updates on the CVRIA effort and set forth the overall objectives of the workshop. The basis of the workshop objectives was a description of the various interfaces in the CVRIA and the various potential attributes that characterize these interfaces. With this background, workshop participants were expected to provide comment and feedback on how to prioritize the interfaces and attributes as part of the analysis that will, eventually, lead to a proposed Connected Vehicle Standards Development Plan. The first session started with an introductory briefing that outlined the interface view of the CVRIA, and presented examples of:

Key comments and questions from this first session include the following, by topic:

After the plenary session, the group was provided instructions for breakout sessions. Specifically, the group was asked to consider the way that CVRIA interfaces where identified and defined.

Breakout Session #1: Field-to Center Communications

The purpose of this first breakout was to elaborate on field-to-center interfaces and communication. The assembled participants discussed applications of interest to them and their industries and noted, when possible, which standards were in use. Further discussions within each group then defined applications that used "centers" and their companion field elements.

In summary, the breakout groups had widely different experiences and perspectives on the key applications of interest to them. Applications ranged from weather, transit, development of a DSRC "stack", and developing truck components, among others.

Other significant conclusions include the following:

In summary, the diverse and public-sector-oriented participants were vocal within the field-to-center communications breakout group. They presented a diversity of response, a common thread being that non-standardized use cases may need to fit into the mix. Very solid application suggestions and in some cases, specific standards, were revealed by the audience and can be used going forward.

Notes – Day 2 (20-Feb-2014)

Day 2 began with three smaller facilitated breakout sessions. Each session was focused on a different set of interface types.

Breakout Session #2A – Center-to-Center/Backhaul - Facilitator: Ken Vaughn

This breakout session focused on issues related to the center-to-center and backhaul links to determine which issues were most critical for this aspect of the connected vehicle program. The breakout session concluded that the following data was not currently supported:

The group concluded that the highest priority applications were:

Participants felt that traffic condition information was less important as this would be provided by third party providers. The group concluded that implementers of connected vehicle systems will install the necessary bandwidth and that there should be less focus on legacy low-speed links that are common in many backhaul systems today.
Participants felt that backhaul and center-to-center communications needed better security and there needed to be a way to block messages by application or source/destination.

Breakout Session #2B – Local Field Equipment/Local Vehicle Internal – Facilitator: Jim Misener

This breakout focused on what is commonly called "V2I." The objective was to determine data and connectivity needs, and from these needs standards gaps that may exist. Because the V2I applications hold promise to a large set of stakeholders, discussions about the ensuing standardization possibilities are topical and timely.

Major Points: An initial round of applications discussions showed strong recognition of and identification of M2M communications (also referred to as "The Internet of Things"). Moreover:

A key takeaway is that there is high interest in standardizing this particular "local" set of interfaces, largely because they apply to many of the V2I applications. The "field-elements-to-vehicle-internal" aligns well with M2M applications, not just alerts and warning. The group decided that achieving standardization and compliance of "local vehicle internal" data elements and message sets would be important.

Breakout Session #2C – Local Connected Vehicle/Regional Connected Vehicle – Facilitator: Scott Andrews

This breakout session focused on the local and regional connected vehicle interfaces. Specifically, the local vehicle interface is between vehicles in a localized area and between vehicles and the roadside in a localized area. It also addressed the interface between vehicles and centers over regional data links.

The localized interface focused on localized communications on a topic by topic basis, specifically:

The regional interface discussion focused on a variety of applications mostly dealing with the collection, processing and re-dissemination of vehicle data; for example, collecting data from vehicles and using that data to generate additional messages and directives to other vehicles. Examples included:

The discussion then moved into defining the interface attributes. Key discussion points were:

There was also an ad hoc discussion about the use of the cellular system for the Regional Interface:

There was extensive discussion about the range of CVRIA applications and the implications that has on the application messages. Since it is unclear which applications will thrive, focusing on lots of application specific messages is probably not very effective or efficient. It was suggested that a better approach might be to identify the core data elements (mostly done in SAE J2735) and then, instead of defining specific message types, define rules and a tagging scheme for creating composite messages. That way a message originator can compile a message with what they have (making the message generation more flexible for different types of vehicles), and the recipient can make use of the parts they need.

This vastly reduced the total number of messages, speeds up the ability to create new applications (since a special message is not required for each application), and fosters a lot more creativity and flexibility.
Lastly, the group discussed Standards Needs and Harmonization, which could be data dictionary. There is work being done to create common repository.


An open discussion of the entire audience followed the Day 2 breakout sessions, in which key takeaways (noted above) from each breakout group were presented by the facilitator.

There was an announcement that a future stakeholder workshop to present the updated CVRIA and a draft Standards Plan would take place sometime in the summer/fall of 2014.

Closing remarks were provided by Steve Sill and Walt Fehr to thank the participants for their attendance and hard work. They noted that the results would provide important input into the next stage of analysis for the CVRIA team.

For other questions on CVRIA or the connected vehicle program: