Development of a hardware-in-the-loop analysis framework for advanced ITS applications
Roe, Matthew Stephen
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As Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) become more prevalent, there is a need for a system capable of the rigorous evaluation of new ITS strategies for a wide variety of applications. Pre-deployment testing and fine-tuning of the system, performance evaluation, and alternatives analysis are all potential benefits that could be gained through the evaluation of ITS. Simulation, an increasingly popular tool for transportation analysis, would seem an ideal solution to this problem as it allows for the consideration of many scenarios that may be improbable or impossible to observe in the field. Also, simulation provides a framework that allows for the application of rigorous analysis techniques to the output data, providing an accurate and statistically significant conclusion. The difficulty is that many ITS strategies are difficult or impossible to implement in a simulated environment. The rapid nature of technology development and the complicated nature of many ITS solutions are difficult to emulate in simulation models. Furthermore, the emulation of a particular ITS solution is not guaranteed to provide the same result that the physical system would, were it subject to the same inputs. This study seeks to establish a framework for the analysis of advanced ITS applications through the use of Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation (HILS), which provides a procedure for interfacing simulation models with real-world hardware to conduct analysis. This solution provides the benefits of both advanced ITS evaluation and simulation for powerful and accurate analysis. A framework is established that includes all the steps of the modeling process including construction, validation, calibration, and output analysis. This ensures that the process surrounding the HILS implementation is valid so that the results of the evaluation are accurate and defendable. Finally, a case study of the application of the developed framework to the evaluation, a real-world implementation of an advanced ITS application (SCATS in this case) is considered. The effectiveness of the framework in creating and evaluating a corridor using a simulation model wed to real-world hardware is shown. The results of the analysis show the power of this method when correctly applied and demonstrate where further analysis could expand upon the proposed procedure.