Oakland County and the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) have selected Toronto-based P3 Mobility (P3M) through an open bid to launch a pilot program to test connected vehicle infrastructure and determine whether an innovative business model to monetize that infrastructure is viable.
The business model will involve a public-private partnership. The announcement was made today in conjunction with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America’s annual meeting at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit.
“The pilot program has the potential to revolutionize transportation not just in Oakland County but for the world by seeing whether we can monetize connected mobility infrastructure,” says L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executive. “On an engineering and business level, this is our moon shot.”
In Patterson’s 2014 State of the County speech, he announced the formation of the Oakland County Connected Vehicle Task Force, which is tasked with getting industry leaders involved in developing a business model for implementing connected vehicle infrastructure throughout the county. P3M will assist the task force in taking the next step on developing and testing a leading-edge business model.
“This is no small task. After all, Oakland County has 5,600 miles of roads and 1,600 intersections with traffic signals,” says Gary Piotrowicz, deputy managing director/county highway engineer at RCOC. “We in Oakland County, however, are visionary. We don’t view the magnitude of the task as an obstacle but a challenge to which to put our best and brightest minds to solve.”
P3M will install wireless smart intersection technology at 10-12 intersections and research the user experience to better understand the optimal pricing of various road services and their projected income potential. The locations, installation dates, and cost of the project is yet to be determined.
“We are delighted to have been selected for this groundbreaking project in Oakland County,” says Erin Milligan, CEO of P3M. “During the pilot, we will engage Oakland County residents at every level which will include conducting extensive market research to learn what they think about and want for future connected mobility in their community.”
RCOC was the first local agency in the United States to introduce a connected vehicle project in 1992 when it launched its FAST-TRAC adaptive traffic signal system. Since then, it has been a player in numerous connected vehicle technology tests and deployments, partnering with the Federal Highway Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation, all the major auto manufacturers, many tier 1 auto suppliers and many of the leading connected-vehicle companies from around the world.
“The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute published an article a few weeks ago that says implementing connected vehicle technology and infrastructure could prevent up to 8.1 million car crashes and 44,000 deaths,” says Patterson. “Taking another step closer to countywide connected vehicle infrastructure is another step closer to preventing automobile deaths and injuries.”
P3M provides a software platform that enables secure and authenticated subscriptions to smart road services.