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General information
Type: Field operational test
Tested system/service: Cooperative Systems
Countries: USA  ? test users
9 partners  ? vehicles
Active from 12/2007 to 12/2009
Gary Ritter
Volpe Center
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SafeTrip 21 is a component of the USDOT/RITA Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) program, which explores the application of ITS technologies that transfer information on traffic and travel options to and from vehicles to reduce congestion and increase safety, mobility, efficiency, and convenience. RITA is partnering with transportation agencies, ITS technology suppliers, and the university research community to conduct field operational tests of VII concepts to obtain user feedback that will help USDOT better focus on longer term VII research and development (R&D). This effort holds significant implications in terms of generating practical solutions for traffic management organizations seeking cost-effective innovations to mitigate traffic risks while maximizing operational efficiencies.

A key component of SafeTrip 21 is providing motorists and other travelers with the information they need to arrive at their destinations safely and with minimal delay. This includes information — about traffic congestion ahead, roadwork zones, weather conditions due to precipitation and fog, sharp curves in the road, and merging traffic — that will make travel safer and improve mobility.

FOT-Net SafeTrip21.jpg

As the SafeTrip 21 program evolves, USDOT may include and evaluate other test sites to incorporate additional traffic influencers such as severe winter weather. Throughout 2009, as preliminary results from the field tests become available, the SafeTrip 21 team will share interim findings with the transportation community and issue a summary briefing in early 2010.

Combining the Internet with the latest ITS technologies provides myriad opportunities for travelers to be directly linked to one another and to central information databases in ways never before seen. SafeTrip 21 is poised to be the springboard for a new direction that is paved with features leading to a better-integrated, safer, and more reliable national transportation system.

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

The formal SafeTrip 21 field tests and evaluations will take place from December 2008 to December 2009. The testing will focus on assessing and measuring the abilities of these technologies to yield near-term safety and efficiency benefits, as well as to contribute to solving long-term transportation problems. The field tests will provide an opportunity to see which applications work and which require further R&D.

Geographical Coverage

The San Francisco Bay area. Specifically, the site encompasses I-880 from Oakland to San Jose on the east bay and from San Jose to just south of the San Francisco International Airport, along U.S. 101 and California State Route (SR) 82. The site includes the SR-84 Dumbarton Bridge toll crossing, which links I-880 and U.S. 101.

Link with other related Field Operational Tests

The impetus for SafeTrip 21 stems in part from successful ITS technology deployments in other countries. Information gathered from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan indicates that these systems have the potential to improve safety in the vicinity of 70 percent and mobility by up to 20 percent. Although these impressive safety improvements might not be replicable in the United States where roadway geometrics are more forgiving, SafeTrip 21 intends to assess opportunities for improved safety. Furthermore, these systems can reduce fuel consumption and air emissions by 10 to 20 percent.

SafeTrip-21 builds on the DOT's Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) program by providing an accelerated deployment and testing environment for technologies that are already being considered for their applicability in the transportation arena. The overall VII initiative seeks to deploy advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that can keep vehicles from leaving the road and enhance their safe movement through intersections.


SafeTrip 21 seeks to assess ITS technologies that can make public transit a more convenient option. SafeTrip 21 will assess both the viability and performance of advanced traveler information technologies. And, given the growing interest in road-pricing policies to alleviate congestion, another goal is to facilitate convenient electronic payment options. These measures increasingly will benefit individual travelers, including commuters and businesses, as well as boost the performance of the national transportation system.

SafeTrip 21 seeks to accelerate implementation of ITS technologies that contribute toward transportation goals expressed in Transportation Vision for 2030 (, USDOT's long-term vision for the Nation's transportation system. The program therefore seeks to expose the public, decisionmakers, and stakeholders to the benefits of VII concepts in real-world travel settings.

By bringing innovative technologies into an operational setting, SafeTrip 21 will enable travelers to not only experience the initial benefits of VII today but also glimpse what is in store for the future. In addition, USDOT can use the results of these near-term activities to modify systems that the Department will introduce over the long term.


Awaiting – FOT in progress

Lessons learned

Awaiting – FOT in progress

Main events

USDOT presented the selected technology applications at the 15th World Congress on ITS in New York City in November 2008, where ITS leaders, policymakers, and other industry professionals from more than 70 countries gathered. Attendees had the opportunity to see SafeTrip 21 technologies in an interactive setting that demonstrated operational capabilities.


Summary, type of funding and budget


$12.4 Million


$2.9 Million - U.S. DOT


$9.5 Million - Caltrans / Partners

Cooperation partners and contact persons

  • Public Authorities: California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), U.S. DOT RITA Volpe Center California Center for Innovative Transportation (CCIT), California Partners for Advanced, Transit and Highways (PATH), Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Valley Transportation Authority
  • Industry
    • Vehicle Manufacturer: Nokia, Nissan Motor Company
    • Supplier: NAVTEQ
  • Users:
  • Universities:
  • Research Institutes:
  • Others (specify):

Main Contact person

   Gary Ritter
   Technical Director of the SafeTrip 21 initiative,
   Volpe Center domain expert in Surface Transportation Infrastructure and Operations
   Tel: +1 617-494-2716

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

The vehicle infrastructure integration (VII) technologies include: in-vehicle alerts, crash avoidance systems, traveler information systems, navigation systems, transit signal priority systems, commercial vehicle applications, and e-payment applications.


Equipment carried by test users


Test equipment


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

In 2009, SafeTrip-21 will conduct two pilot test projects in the San Francisco Bay area: Networked Traveler and Mobile Millennium.

Networked Traveler systems, which will be pilot tested in the San Francisco Bay Area this year, deliver information directly to consumers in practical and personalized formats-via cell phone, desktop, laptop, handheld computers and mobile Internet devices, and invehicle after-market devices. Like a social networking site, users personally customize the types of information they want to receive, such as:

Tell Me About The Route - Realtime information about a specific travel route:

  • Route choice (choose the most eco-friendly, or the fastest route)
  • Traffic (avoid areas of high traffic congestion, take alternate routes, delay travel)
  • Travel times (determine which is quicker-driving or public transit)
  • Road condition alerts (speed zone information, work zones, upcoming intersections, hazard alerts)
  • Transit planning (transit schedule and GPS-based current transit status)
  • Personal notification of your bus stop or bus transfer point.

Watch Out for Me - Safety alerts (to make road users aware of each other).

  • Collision avoidance
  • Vehicle distress signals (alerts other drivers that help is needed)
  • Pedestrian alerts (notifies drivers of pedestrians in their path; allows pedestrians to tell the traffic signal that they need more time to cross the road).

Smart Parking-Up-to-the-minute information about parking availability.

In the Mobile Millennium project, consumers volunteer to download free software to their GPS-enabled cell phones that will send anonymous speed and location readings to servers. The data will be integrated into traffic models that produce an estimate of traffic flow and then relayed back to the mobile phones and posted on line at Researchers expected to have 10,000 volunteer participants by April 2009.

Method for the baseline

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Recruitment goals and methods

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

Sources of information

Final report

RITA Article – project introduction:

Information about the project:

Transportation Vision for 2030:

Facts about "SafeTrip21"
CompanyVolpe Center +
ContactGary Ritter +
CountryUSA +
EndedDecember 2009 +
Is type ofField operational test +
NameSafeTrip21 +
Number of partners9 +
StartedDecember 2007 +
Tested system or serviceCooperative Systems +
Website +
This property is a special property in this wiki. +