Evaluating Economic Mobility and Resilience of Multimocal Freight Operaions in a Connected Vehicle Environment

Commercial trucks, freight rails, seaports and airport, which are part of multimodal freight transportation, are indispensable to a nation’s economic competitiveness. The recent enactment of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law in December 2015 recognizes the importance of investment in transportation, particularly for sustained economic growth of freight industry in the United States. The Fast Act will address conditions and performance of multimodal freight transportation system for mobility. Concurrent to the impetus received through the FAST Act is the United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT’s) on-going programs in the area of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for freight. The ITS Strategic Plan 2015-2019 of USDOT prioritizes design, testing, and planning for deployment of connected vehicles across the nation. Realizing connected vehicle implementation and advancing automation in the freight industry will be crucial in the success of ITS Strategic Plan, since freight contributes by connecting various industry sectors to the international gateways of the country through a system of multimodal freight network. Thus, within the context of multimodal freight, connected vehicles will command special significance in boosting economic mobility and resilience of freight operations. The USDOT’s keen interest in adoption of automation-related technologies reflected in its preamble of ITS Strategic Plan, has spurred several private freight manufacturing companies, such as the Volvo Group, to roll out their next generation fleet of freight vehicles, especially commercial trucks, to be integrated with ITS and connected vehicle technology (CVT) features. The current transformation that the freight industry is undergoing with regard to integration of CVT into its next generation fleet of vehicles, it is expected that all modes constituting a multimodal freight transportation system will “talk to each other” and will adapt to changes in their surrounding traffic conditions leading to efficient freight operations. While safety, mobility and environmental benefits are clearly accrued and anticipated from ubiquitous CVT exhibited by a freight vehicle at the micro level, the role of the technology in mobility and resilience building of multimodal freight operations is currently unknown or at least needs an initial investigation at the macro level for freight planning purposes. CVT has the potential to become very relevant and crucial for multimodal transportation, which involves a synchronized operation of two or more modes of freight (such as trucks, rail, air cargo and ports) responsible for transfer of essential goods and commodities on a large scale. However, very little is known about the influence of reliability of CVT network on the freight industry. Therefore, this research will aim to understand the implications of CVT implementation for multimodal freight operations through sequence of three interrelated objectives: (1) Understanding constituents/factors for mobility and resilience of multimodal freight operations; (2) Determining efficient routes for mobility and resilience with connected vehicles’ network reliability; and (3) Estimating economic costs for CVT-induced route guidance for mobility and resilience.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $34,663
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95843

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Brinkerhoff, Cort

  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research

    University of Southern California
    650 Childs Way, RGL 107
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90089-0626
  • Principal Investigators:

    Chandra, Shailesh

  • Start Date: 20170101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01618768
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
  • Contract Numbers: 65A0533
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2016 11:15AM