Autonomous car driving on a road

MITRE to Operate U.S. Department of Transportation’s VOICES Platform  

Collaboratively testing autonomous vehicle safety scenarios before deployment

McLean, Va., and Bedford, Mass., Nov. 3, 2022—The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has named MITRE as the sole operator of its prototype Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety (VOICES) platform. VOICES was purpose-built to allow transportation innovators to conduct collaborative testing of safety solutions in a synthetic test environment before deployment on the nation’s highways.

Initially developed by the Federal Highway Administration, VOICES has been focused on enabling collaborative research and testing of cooperative driving automation (CDA) among all stakeholders. CDA uses communications between automated vehicles and infrastructure to improve vehicle and transportation system-level outcomes, including increased road network throughput, reduced travel time, and improved fuel efficiency. The VOICES test platform enables data sharing and distributed collaboration, testing between physical and simulated hardware components, and testing with human interaction.

“The VOICES platform offers a variety of stakeholders—from the private sector, government, and academia—a secure network where they can interoperate in simulated scenarios to identify safety solutions,” said Kerry Buckley, MITRE, vice president, Center for Advanced Aviation System Development. “The power of that collaboration will accelerate crucial innovation in transportation safety and is aligned with our mission of solving problems for a safer world.” 

As a not-for-profit research organization, MITRE is uniquely positioned to act as an independent third party to facilitate sharing of sensitive information among transportation stakeholders (including federal, state, and local governments; industry organizations; and academia). MITRE will leverage this third-party role for the transportation research community as well as its experience building engagement, collaboration, and trust among stakeholder communities for missions in aviation safety, vehicle automation safety, tax fraud prevention, health care payment models, pandemic response, and cybersecurity. 

MITRE also has advanced technical capabilities to evolve the VOICES platform, including expertise in systems engineering, data collection and analysis, network architecture, modeling and simulation, and software architecture and development.

Chris Fall, MITRE, vice president, applied science, said, “Our deep experience in collaborative platforms and our state-of-the-art laboratories will provide VOICES stakeholders with an unparalleled, integrative experience, and we are proud to serve as the host and operator of this critical testing environment.” 

MITRE will lead the next phase of VOICES, which includes defining, developing, and continuing to develop the VOICES platform; convening a community of system users; standing up a technology platform; and conducting a demonstration event over the next year.

MITRE will also continue to grow the VOICES community to shape the VOICES program. This work will include describing the users’ needs and vision; facilitating engagement; outlining the technical requirements to develop, operate, and sustain the VOICES platform; and demonstrating research and testing activities.

“We look forward to collaborating with the VOICES community so that VOICES can be increasingly available as a proving ground to a diverse group of participants from across the transportation community,” added Buckley.

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