California Department of Transportation

One California

  Click here to view the One California Proposal U.S. DOT Connected Vehicle Research Program


Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment - One California Project

How Connected Vehicles Work

Connected vehicles have the potential to transform the way Americans travel through the creation of a safe, interoperable wireless communication network – a system that includes cars, buses, trucks, trains, traffic signals, smart phones, and other devices.

Why Connected Vehicle Technologies Are Needed

Connected vehicle technologies aim to tackle some of the biggest challenges in the surface transportation industry—in the areas of safety, mobility, and environment.

Connected Vehicle Video
Connected Vehicle Video


Safety: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5.6 million crashes in 2013. The number of fatalities from vehicle crashes is falling but still accounted for 32,719 deaths. Connected vehicle technologies will give all drivers the tools they need to anticipate potential crashes and significantly reduce the number of lives lost each year.


Mobility: According to the Texas Transportation Institute, U.S. highway users wasted 5.5 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2011. Connected vehicle mobility
applications will enable system users and system operators to make smart choices that reduce travel delay.


Environment: According to the Texas Transportation Institute, the total amount of wasted fuel topped 2.9 billion gallons in 2011. Connected vehicle environmental applications will give motorists the real time information they need to make “green” transportation choices.

Connected vehicles feature safety warnings that alert drivers of potentially dangerous conditions — impending collisions, icy roads and dangerous curves — before the driver is aware of them. Research from NHTSA found that connected vehicle technology has the potential to address vehicle crashes by unimpaired drivers, but more research needs to be done to understand the true effectiveness of the technology.

Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Project

The U.S. DOT (DOT) connected vehicle research program is a multimodal initiative that aims to enable safe, interoperable networked wireless communications among vehicles, infrastructure, and personal communications devices. Connected vehicle research is sponsored by the DOT and others to leverage the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology to make surface transportation safer, smarter, and greener. Research has resulted in a considerable body of work supporting pilot deployments, including concepts of operations and prototyping for more than two dozen applications. Concurrent Federal research efforts developed critical cross-cutting technologies and other enabling capabilities required to integrate and deploy applications.

Based on the successful results of the connected vehicle research program, and the recent decision by NHTSA to pursue vehicle to vehicle communications safety technology for light vehicles, a robust connected vehicle pilots program is envisioned as a mechanism to spur the implementation of connected vehicle technology. These pilots will serve as initial implementations of connected vehicle technology deployed in real world settings with the aim of delivering near-term safety, mobility, and environmental benefits to the public. Pilot deployments offer an opportunity for stakeholders and partners to develop operational systems that exist well beyond the life of the program.

One California

California travelers suffer from 535,000 vehicle-hours-of-delay every day, the highest in the nation, which leads to loss of productivity, wasted fuel consumption, and adverse impacts on air quality. Incidents on the roadway – typically automobile collisions – account for approximately one-third of this delay. A reduction in the number of collisions would reduce delay, improve mobility, and further California’s aggressive improvement in air quality. With these challenges in mind, an unprecedented partnership between public sector, private sector, and academic entities proudly submitted a proposal to the FHWA for the Wave 1 Pilot Deployment of Connected Vehicles (CV). This proposal furthers the goals identified in the California Transportation Plan 2040 by creating a sustainable and interconnected transportation system that encourages economic vitality, protects precious natural resources, and promotes the health and well-being of all Californians.

> The Connected Vehicle leverages new technologies that give vehicles the capability to communicate wirelessly with one another and with devices on surrounding infrastructure for purposes of improving transportation safety, mobility, and impact on the environment.
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A Team Approach

The One California proposal is a bold and innovative approach to CV deployment, submitted by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and combining the skills and expertise of transportation agencies from three of the most progressive regions in the United States, namely the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO), and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The team defined the transportation needs and challenges affecting California’s urban regions with growing populations during stakeholder meetings held in the three deployment regions, and then examined USDOT-defined and new CV technology applicable to these needs and challenges across four categories: mobility, environment, safety, and agency efficiency. Lending support to the team is the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works (LADPW) and Caltrans’ academic partners at the University of California (UC), Berkeley’s Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (CA PATH) and UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE CERT). These academic partners have worked with Caltrans for more than 25 years, performing technical research in CV-related areas, including the implementation and operation of the existing California CV Test Bed, located in Palo Alto, CA.

History of Innovation

Connected Vehicle

Applications to Meet the Challenges

Transportation challenges facing urban regions with growing populations fall into four userneeds categories: mobility, environmental, safety, and agency efficiency. These categorizations help identify “what” needs to be improved, while the CV applications determine “how” these improvements can be made. Subsequent system-wide performance measures will quantify the success of these application solutions.

Given the distances between the deployment regions, the One California approach demonstrates an integrated and coordinated deployment that is unique in the country. As the FHWA moves forward in ever increasing scale and breadth of CV deployment, One California can serve as a model for the creation of a permanent statewide institutional framework.The initial deployment efforts implemented in the three regions can scale up and reach nearly 18.4 million people, approximately six percent of the U.S. population, giving the USDOT the opportunity to increase public exposure to CV technology through deployment in one state.

If We Build It…

The One California approach proposed a standard system architecture and common deployment framework enabling applications to be more easily shared among regions. The network architecture for back-office systems and equipment for security, applications, and data are proposed to be developed in a coordinated effort between the three regions. This interregional approach demonstrates economies of scale in the procurement of equipment, software, and professional services, which can significantly reduce costs in areas such as application development and systems engineering.

It Gets Better

Many of the applications proposed in One California address other statewide initiatives to improve air quality and reduce vehicle congestion. For example, increasing transit ridership leads to a reduction in auto traffic, thus reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving air quality. Because vehicles are the single largest source of GHG emissions statewide, setting vehicle miles traveled reduction targets is one of the key goals of California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, also known as Senate Bill 375 (SB 375). Through the implementation of the One California vision, this pilot program can contribute to reducing regional GHG targets and ultimately move the State closer to its SB 375 goals. The statewide mobility challenges include transit on-time performance, freeway congestion, and freight movement at port terminals. Safety concerns include pedestrian-transit conflicts, freeway dilemma zones, and a statewide need for increased driver awareness. Overall, the One California proposal demonstrates the scientific and technical merit of the regions, as well as the strength, commitment, and depth of their combined vision which resulted from the culmination of unprecedented planning and preparation efforts.


Caltrans Research, Innovation and System Information Metropolitan Transportation Commission LA Metro San Diego Association of Governments California PATH County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works UC Riverside Center for Enviromental Research and Technology One California Project Contacts