Last week, Toyota made the exciting announcement that they'll deploy DSRC in their vehicles starting in 2021, with the goal of adoption across most of their vehicles by the mid-2020s.
Last week also marked the two year anniversary of the SPaT Challenge, when the V2I Deployment Coalition, through their Deployment Initiatives Technical Working Group, challenged all 50 states to deploy signal phase and timing (SPaT) messages, using DSRC, on a least one corridor by 2020.
The announcement from Toyota further highlights the importance of the SPaT Challenge in preparing our roadways for connected vehicles. As Toyota and other car makers equip their vehicles with V2X technologies and connected vehicle applications, the infrastructure must be ready to provide the safety, mobility, environmental benefits connected vehicles has to offer. Now with over 40 locations across 30 states, the SPaT Challenge has generated local pilots of national significance and guaranteed that when these V2X equipped vehicles do hit our roadways, the infrastructure will be communicating back.
Since the challenge was initiated, the SPaT Challenge Resource Team and the SPaT Challenge Tactical Working Group have carried the load in developing resources to assist state and local agencies in deploying SPaT and to help communicate the importance of SPaT deployments. These resources and activities have enabled agencies to start to learn about the deployment of DSRC infrastructure, to share knowledge about their efforts with other agencies, and to prepare their agencies for when DSRC equipped vehicles hit the roadways. Champions of these efforts, such as Bill Legg, Ray Derr, and Blaine Leonard, have been integral in the knowledge sharing efforts that serve as the foundation for deployments across the country and provide a true success story of what knowledge sharing can do for our industry.
Recently, SPaT Challenge Resource Team and the SPaT Challenge Tactical Working Group have initiated a six part webinar series, hosted by NOCoE, covering SPaT Challenge design, deployment, and validation. More information on these resources and a map of SPaT locations is available on the NOCoE website.