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.
The contract is just underway.
Task 1. Conduct an in-depth literature review to understand the latest advancements in AV and CV technologies and project how these technologies are likely to advance in the future. The literature review will include three sub-tasks: (1) technology review, physical infrastructure review, and (3) review of MUTCD and other standards.
Task 2. Develop scenarios that define the limitations of physical infrastructure and use them to summarize the gaps that need to be addressed in terms of transportation system design, operations, maintenance, and technology.
Task 3. Conduct stakeholder engagement workshops to solicit feedback on the results of the preceding tasks, foster collaboration, and identify champions of change in implementing the research findings.
Task 4. Develop draft guidance for CAV impacts on the highway infrastructure. Conduct a stakeholder engagement workshop to obtain feedback on the draft guidance.
Task 5. Develop final guidance and other deliverables (e.g., final report, presentations, technical memoranda on Future Research Needs and Implementation of Research Findings). Present to various critical groups that can act up on the final deliverables.
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.