Testbed for traffic management and automated vehicle technologies
Located on 4 miles of Interstate 24 in Middle Tennessee
Construction completes in 2022
About I-24 MOTION
The I-24 Mobility Technology Interstate Observation Network (MOTION) will equip a four-mile section of I-24 in the Nashville-Davidson County Metropolitan area with over 294 ultra-high definition cameras. Those images are converted into a digital model of how every vehicle behaves with unparalleled detail. This is all done anonymously using Artificial Intelligence (AI) trajectory algorithms developed by Vanderbilt University.
Vehicle trajectory data allows us to uncover new insights into how traffic flow influences individual vehicle behavior. This groundbreaking understanding of traffic is more important than ever due to the increasing automation capability of individual vehicles, which are beginning to influence traffic flow through their interactions with conventional vehicles. By unlocking a new understanding of how these vehicles influence traffic, vehicle and infrastructure design can be optimized to reduce traffic concerns in the future to improve safety, air quality, and fuel efficiency.
The purpose of I-24 MOTION is to provide an environment for testing advanced traffic management and automated vehicle technologies in real freeway traffic. Automakers and suppliers are investing billions of dollars in adding connectivity and automation features to vehicles, forever changing safety and mobility. These technologies are often developed in the laboratory or closed-course settings. Testing in traffic captures the variability of real-world conditions and human behavior. Complementary congestion management technologies are being installed by TDOT along this same section of interstate as part of the I-24 SMART Corridor project.
Using the information gathered on this testbed, I-24 MOTION will provide insights to allow the industry to build better products and allow TDOT to better understand how to make the most out of these products for managing infrastructure assets. The first testbed user will be the U.S. Department of Energy’s sponsored research with the CIRCLES Consortium, which will study the possibility of smoothing traffic by introducing vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assist systems.
- 2018 – testbed needs and strategy established
- 2019 – camera technology pilot
- 2020 – construction of 3-pole ”validation system” to study design and feasibility
- 2021 – design and build begins for full system
- Sept. 30, 2022 – construction completes and testbed becomes operational
How it works
Tall road-side poles and multiple high-resolution cameras
Steel road-side poles are spaced along the roadway to maintain a continuous view of vehicles across the facility. The poles are tall enough so larger vehicles don’t block the view of smaller ones. Each pole hosts multiple high-resolution (4K) cameras to cover the full roadway from above. The video feeds are transmitted over a fiber optic network for processing off-site.
Anonymous vehicle space-time data, driven by deep learning
The 300 video feeds from I-24 MOTION will be processed by a custom software suite that includes state-of-the art computer vision algorithms. These techniques use deep learning (a form of artificial intelligence) to identify vehicles and determine their position on the roadway. The type of vehicle is also collected, but all vehicle data is anonymous and contains no personal information.
This processing can deliver vehicle positions at over 30 measurements per second. Cutting-edge 3D image processing discerns the footprint of each vehicle to achieve high positional accuracy.
Read our most recent conference paper: “Interstate 24 MOTION open road testbed”, by Will Barbour, Derek Gloudemans, Meredith Cebelak, Brad Freeze, and Dan Work
Read the original conference paper: “Interstate-24 MOTION: closing the loop on smart mobility”, by Derek Gloudemans, Will Barbour, Nikki Gloudemans, Matthew Neuendorf, Brad Freeze, Said ElSaid, and Dan Work
Validation system construction timelapse
Validation system camera feeds
I-24 site partial flyover
The Tennessee Department of Transportation held an industry forum on July 15 for stakeholders from the public, private, and higher education community to discuss the I-24 MOTION testbed. TDOT was joined by representatives from Vanderbilt University, Gresham Smith, and Toyota. Each presented its roles and objectives for the I-24 MOTION project. I-24 MOTION will be a unique testing environment for transportation technologies across multiple industry sectors, due to its sensing and data producing capabilities.
“This groundbreaking understanding of traffic is more important than ever due to the increasing automation capability of individual vehicles, which are beginning to influence traffic flow through their interactions with conventional vehicles,” said Brad Freeze, director of TDOT’s traffic operations division. “By unlocking a new understanding of how these vehicles influence traffic, vehicle, and infrastructure design can be optimized to reduce traffic concerns in the future to improve safety, air quality, and fuel efficiency.”
TDOT envisions additional opportunities to pursue mutually beneficial uses of the testbed with industries such as those outlined below.
- • Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers
- • Researchers
- • Traffic Simulation Software Developers
- • Freight and Logistics Operators
- • Infrastructure Owners
- • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Product Manufacturers
- • Enterprise Networking and Data Solution Providers
TENN SMART Industry Forum
For questions about the project please contact:
Lee J. Smith, P.E.
Interim Traffic Operations Division Director
Meredith Cebelak Ph.D., P.E.
Tennessee TSM&O Department Leader
Dan Work, PhD
Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering