The objective of this research is to produce guidance for state and local transportation agencies in evaluating and—if necessary—adapting their standards and practices for roadway and intelligent transportation system designs (including traffic control devices) and related maintenance and operations to reflect the deployment of connected and automated vehicle technologies. The guidance will consider trends and timelines in the development and deployment of various connected and automated driving technologies (primarily SAE Levels 2 and 3, with some consideration of Level 4), including sensor systems and the increasing role of digital infrastructure and connectivity (e.g., dynamic high definition maps, real-time data and information, and geo-referencing). The guidance should describe how changes in standards and practices could advance agency goals while considering the effects on transportation agency resources. The guidance should also suggest approaches to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors so as to develop and advance needed standards and practices, including for data access and sharing.
Proposals have been requested from the NCHRP 20-102 Task Order Contractors and are due in December 2017. Proposal selection will be made in January 2018 and the contract is expected to begin in March 2018.
Gathering input from representatives of the vehicle and digital infrastructure industries (e.g., vehicle manufacturers, third-party vendors of sensor systems, digital mapping, providers of navigational and routing information, and data management providers) will be vital to the success of the project. The final deliverables are expected to provide recommendations on needs and priorities for additional research
Given that vehicle technologies are advancing faster than ever, there is a growing need to better understand how and when traditional highway and street infrastructure may be affected. Some agencies are starting to question the value of maintaining signs, roadside hardware, and other key physical highway infrastructure (because such infrastructure might not be needed in the future). Agencies are also questioning whether the design of roadways, pavements, structures, and work zones will be affected as connected and automated vehicle technologies are deployed.
In September 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released Automated Driving Systems (ADS): A Vision for Safety 2.0 (https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/us-dot-releases-new-automated-driving-systems-guidance) which “calls for industry, state and local governments, safety and mobility advocates and the public to lay the path for the deployment of automated vehicles and technologies.” That document encourages states to “maintain a good state of infrastructure design, operation, and maintenance that supports ADS deployment and to adhere to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)….” State and local transportation agencies need guidance on what will constitute a good state of design, operation, and maintenance.