With development of autonomous or fully automated vehicles (AV) progressing rapidly, some observers are concerned that many of the road-safety, congestion-relief, energy-savings, pollution-reduction, and other public benefits that AV technology is predicted to deliver will depend on road infrastructure’s ability to exchange information with vehicles. Consideration of this exchange between vehicles and infrastructure (I2V or V2I) is a part of a broader interest in connected vehicle (CV) technology that often is conflated with AV technology in public policy discussions. Some observers assert that CV technology—both I2V and V2I—is an essential adjunct to successful AV development, and that possibly substantial infrastructure investments will be required for CV deployment. State transportation and their counterparts at local, metropolitan, and multi-state levels of government may be called on the make such investments.
While AV technology is being developed and deployed largely in the private sector, these public-sector agencies play a role in deployment of CV infrastructure, and infrastructure deployment necessarily proceeds at a measured pace. How vehicle purchasers, road users, and the broader audience of taxpayers and other stakeholders perceive and respond to AV and CV technology will undoubtedly influence the path and speed of development and deployment.
The objective of this research was to provide information and guidance for decision-makers at transportation agencies on the issues likely to influence investment in connected-vehicle (CV) infrastructure, the potential public and private benefits and costs of such infrastructure investment and the potential impact of such investment on automated-vehicle (AV) deployment, and business cases to be made for agency involvement in the investment. The research results, published as NCHRP Web-Only Document 289 Business Models to Facilitate Deployment of Connected Vehicle Infrastructure to Support Automated Vehicle Operations, reviews available information and suggested approaches to analysis to support a particular agency's decision making regarding commitment of agency resources to CV infrastructure investments.