This paper presents the concept of a Living Laboratory (LL) and how it is applied to transportation operations research through a case study. This case study focuses on calibrating the Wiedemann car-following model parameters specific to freeway work zones. Applying the concept of a LL enables the experimental platform to be in a natural real-world environment. The design of this LL included the development of an Instrumented Research Vehicle (IRV) to capture the natural car-following response of a driver when entering and passing through a freeway work zone. The development of a Connected Mobile Traffic Sensing (CMTS) system, which included state-of-the-art ITS technologies, supports the LL environment by providing the connectivity, interoperability and data processing of the natural, real-life setting. The IRV and CMTS system are tools designed based on the research objective to support the concept of a LL which facilitates the experimental environment to capture and calibrate natural driver behavior. This case study shows the application of a LL specific to operations research providing an experimental platform for evaluating roadway’s operational performance in a real-time, connected and collaborative natural environment.