Introduction to VOICES – A Platform for Collaborative Research and Testing


The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is proactively addressing the challenge of developing and testing the plethora of scenarios that autonomous vehicles will encounter once deployed in the transportation system. The Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety (VOICES) Proof of Concept (PoC) aims to tackle these challenges by offering a shared virtual environment on a secure network that enables vehicles and systems across the transportation ecosystem to interoperate while synchronized to common scenarios. The project allows organizations to develop and test their systems in a high-fidelity representation of the surface transportation ecosystem, sharing infrastructure and resources while still protecting intellectual property.

Target Audience

  • Transportation agencies.
  • Infrastructure owner operators.
  • University researchers.
  • Automotive manufacturers.
  • Developers and deployers of CDA technology.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will provide background on why the VOICES project was initiated, the vision for the distributed virtual test platform, and an overview of the key components of the VOICES PoC, including system architecture, scenario database, and distributed synthetic test environment. Participants will hear from USDOT personnel and have the opportunity to provide feedback on the progress, challenges, and next steps in the development of the VOICES PoC.


  • Nicole Paladeau


  • Taylor Lochrane (FHWA)
  • Rob Heilman (USDOT)

Presenter Bios

Rob Heilman (Director, Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, US Department of Transportation): Rob is currently the Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Highly Automated Systems Safety (HASS) Center of Excellence (COE) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. The HASS COE was recently established to ensure the USDOT has a workforce capable of reviewing, assessing, and validating the safety of automated technologies across all domains of transportation. Also, to serve as a central location within USDOT for expertise in automation and human factors, computer science, data analytics, artificial intelligence/machine learning, sensors, and other technologies involving highly automated systems.

Taylor Lochrane (CARMA Program Manager, FHWA): Taylor Lochrane, Ph.D., P.E., is the CARMA Program Manager for the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Dr. Lochrane is the CARMA Program Manager for the cooperative automation research program in the Office of Operations Research and Development located at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center. He is currently leading a team of engineers developing the CARMA platform which supports testing and evaluation of cooperative driving automation.

Operations Area of Practice

  • Connected Vehicles

Organizational Capability Element

  • Testing, Verification & Validation (V&V)
  • Vehicle Systems/Connected Vehicles

Event Type

  • Webinar

Content Type

  • Presentation

Publishing Organization

  • NOCoE

Project Website

View webinar recording on YouTube.

Issue Date
October 28th, 2021
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