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Hardware in the Loop Testing of Connected Automated Vehicle Applications

  • DTFH61-16-D00030-T-16011

  • $600,000

  • POP: 24 mths

  • Sep. 2016 - Sep. 2018

  • Role: GTM

  • Dates Involved: Sep. 2016 - Nov. 2017

  • Duties: Project Conception; Project Procurement; Scope of Work; Project Management; Deliverable Review and Acceptance



One of the major challenges in testing and demonstrating the benefits of CAV technologies is the small number of test vehicles available for experiments.  Field tests of such small numbers of test vehicles cannot easily impact traffic flow nor can they respond to other vehicles whose performance reflects possible future innovations such as the connected automation applications.  Larger-scale field operational tests are extremely expensive, and still cannot allow full-scale assessments of the effects on overall traffic performance. Likewise, there is a lack of CAV modeling tools available to state and local transportation agencies that are capable of effectively and fully quantifying the impacts of such deployments.


One approach to overcome these challenges is to use emerging hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tools that allow real test vehicles to interact with virtual vehicles from traffic simulation models – providing an evaluation environment that can replicate actual deployment conditions.


The primary objectives of this project are to (1) conduct hardware-in-the-loop testing of two CAV applications (CACC and Eco-approach/departure); and (2) to develop software-in-the-loop models of these applications (based on the HIL field tests). This Task Order entails assessment of existing HIL tools and capabilities, identification of the appropriate HIL tool and necessary modifications, development of work plans to conduct HIL testing, HIL field tests, and development of microsimulation models. The end product will aid in the understanding of CACC and Eco-approach/departure deployments and develop accurate models of such deployments.


  1. Project Management and Development of Work Plan

  2. Investigation of HIL Tools to Support Further Testing of CAV Applications

    • Investigating, Identifying, and Developing Working Knowledge of HIL Tools​

    • Assessing Gaps/Needs and Developing HIL Test Plan

  3. Development of Work Plans for HIL Testing of Two CAV Applications

    • Developing Work Plan for HIL Testing of CACC Platooning (and Model Creation)​

    • Developing Work Plan for HIL Testing of Eco-approach/departure (and Model Creation)

  4. HIL Testing of CACC and Model Development

  5. HIL Testing of Eco-approach/departure and Model Development

  6. Preparation of Final Report

Framework and data flows of the hardware-in-the-loop system

Hardware-in-the-loop testing of Eco-approach/departure: top left: front video of physical vehicle field approaching signal, bottom left: video of physical vehicle's speedometer, and right: video of simulated and physical vehicle integrated into the VISSIM microsimulation software. 

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