Completed 2018 Research Project

Concept of Operations for an Autonomous Vehicle Dispatch Center

Principal Investigator
Missy Cummings
Duke University
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Full Report

Project Slide Deck

Research Brief


Once reliable vehicle-to-vehicle (V-to-V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V-to-I) networks are established, remote fleet management could aid in improved traffic flow as well as improving first response times for emergent situations that arise such as crashes or extreme weather events. Remote fleet managers of the future will monitor real-time traffic flows, ensure that disabled or crashed AVs receive assistance (including possibly taking control of individual vehicles), while also potentially redirecting traffic away from emergent events. Because these futuristic operators will have the ability to directly communicate with some, but not all, cars, they may be able to immediately communicate with equipped cars through the V-to-V network when problems emerge or congestion is high. Moreover, they may be able to change external signs and signals in order to communicate with non-equipped vehicles to ease traffic congestion and aid in emergency response.

Remote fleet management of AVs will require an operations center staffed by personnel that resemble surface transportation dispatchers today, but these operators will have significantly more responsibilities. To this end, this report outlined three new functionalities unique to AV dispatchers as well as five broad Concepts of Operation (CONOPs) that illustrate how AV fleet management could develop, including Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) AV Dispatch Support, Robo-Taxi Dispatch, Autonomous Trucking Dispatch, Public Transportation AV Dispatch, and State/Regional AV Management and Dispatch.

Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Completed
Start Date: 5-1-2018
End Date: 1-31-2021
Contract Year: Year 2
Total Funding from CSCRS: $40,000