Using Smartphone as OBU Emulator Implementation Study

PI (Co-PI): Mohamed Abdel- Aty, Shaurya Agarwal, Qing Cai

Funded by FDOT

In-vehicle communication has experienced great expansion in the current Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The On Board Unit (OBU), which could capture information from multiple sensors and manage large amounts of data at high computation speed, has become the main solution for in-vehicle communication. An OBU is integrated into a vehicle for interaction with drivers by displaying a warning, issuing alerts, offering automotive services, and managing the communication with a vehicle’s surroundings. With these functions, OBU could help alleviate the misjudgment of the driver, avoid traffic crashes, and layout the efficient driving route.  However, only a fraction of drivers on roads could benefit from OBU implementation since OBU is expensive and currently only available in some luxury car models. In this project, the research team from the University of Central Florida (UCF) intend to use smartphones to emulate the OBUs. To the best of our knowledge, the percentage of smartphone ownership of U.S. adults has increased to 77% by 2018. Within the high penetration rate of smartphones, there could be great benefits to use smartphones as OBU emulators for real-time communication in vehicles.

This primary goal of this project is to use smartphones as OBU emulators for in-vehicle communication. The following objectives need to be achieved:

  • Validate the feasibility of using smartphones as OBU emulators
  • Validate the accuracy of smartphone data related to transportation and refine the data stream
  • Develop a smartphone application to emulate OBUs
  • Evaluate the developed application based on field tests

A framework of smartphone data communication