Connected vehicle technologies are being developed to enable safe, interoperable networked wireless communications among vehicles (V2V), the infrastructure (V2I), and travelers’ personal communication devices (V2X). These technologies are intended to reduce highway crashes; provide data for assessing the performance of the transportation system; provide continual access to accurate information on the operation of the system to travelers; and reduce unnecessary stops, delays, and emissions.
Automated vehicle technologies are also under development that will significantly change fundamental planning, design, and operational characteristics for the road network. Some industry leaders expect that Level 4 vehicle automation (under NHTSA and SAE definitions) will be available on the market by 2018. Fully autonomous, driverless vehicles (SAE Level 5 automation) could be on the market by 2025.
For Level 5 automation, “the vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip.” (NHTSA, Preliminary Statement of Policy Concerning Automated Vehicles) Level 4 automation is essentially the same as Level 5, without any driver supervision (e.g., there is no expectation that the driver will be engaged), over a limited driving domain. These vehicles may be safer than current models.
Connected vehicles and automated vehicles are essentially different technologies, though some of the challenges they present to transportation agencies will be similar. These two technologies may converge or diverge from each other based largely on developments in the private sector (e.g., vehicle manufacturers, third-party vendors). While some actors envision a completely autonomous vehicle that does not require communication with other entities, others see serendipities between the two technologies. This project will address both technologies (including the combination) under the umbrella term of CV/AV. The individual tasks that compose the project will clearly identify which technologies are to be addressed.
A request for statements of qualifications was active from December 11, 2014 to January 29, 2015. Four task-order contracts have been executed. For the individual tasks selected by the NCHRP Project 20-102 panel (listed below), the selected task-order contractors will be asked to submit competitive proposals that will be evaluated by a separate panel for each task. These task panels will also oversee the contractor's work.
During the course of the contract, task-order contractors will be expected to submit quarterly progress reports that include: (1) brief status reports on tasks currently underway (including a table of milestones and deliverables, significant findings, a description of any problems encountered, and recommended solutions to such problems); (2) summary of significant events in the CV and AV industries that may affect the research roadmap; and (3) recommendations for updates to the research roadmap.
The NCHRP will decide in Summer 2017 whether to readvertise for task-order contractors or to extend the ones that are in place.
LISTING OF TASKS