The National Academies

NCHRP 20-102(12) [Active]

Business Models to Facilitate Deployment of CV Infrastructure to Support AV Operations
[ NCHRP 20-102 (Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies--Task-Order Support) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Staff Responsibility: Andrew C. Lemer
Research Agency: WSP USA Inc.
Principal Investigator: John Porcari
Effective Date: 7/11/2017
Completion Date: 11/10/2019

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—including I2V/V2I—is an essential adjunct to successful AV development, and that possibly substantial infrastructure investments will be required for CV deployment. The state departments of transportation and other agencies at local, metropolitan, and multi-state levels of government (here referred to generally as DOTs) may be called on the make such investments. At the same time, DOTs are faced with declining revenue streams and competing demands for repair and replacement of aging facilities. While AV technology is being developed and deployed largely in the private sector, DOTs have a definite role in development and deployment of CV infrastructure; and developing this infrastructure will likely require a decade or more. How vehicle purchasers, road users, and the broader audience of taxpayers and other stakeholders perceive and respond to AV and CV technology applications will undoubtedly influence the path and speed of development and deployment. Research is needed to (1) describe scenarios characterizing how CV infrastructure technology may be developed and deployed and (2) assess the business case for DOTs to make investments in CV infrastructure—alone and in partnership with private enterprise—to realize the greatest public benefits of AV technology. The results of this research should inform DOT decisionmakers and other stakeholders regarding the magnitude and distribution of public and private interests in CV infrastructure development and deployment, viable business models for DOT participation in the CV technology marketplace, and ways to define and evaluate strategic CV infrastructure investment and management options. The research and its results must be sensitive to technical and non-technical obstacles to CV infrastructure development and deployment in rural and urban settings, how those obstacles may be avoided or overcome, and possible variation of stakeholders’ interests and priorities among states and market segments.The objectives of this NCHRP project will be to provide guidance for DOT decisionmakers on (1) the issues of public investment in CV infrastructure and the potential impact of CV infrastructure on AV deployment; (2) the business case to be made, in financial and economic terms, for DOTs to invest in CV infrastructure; and (3) how any particular DOT may develop, evaluate, and present a business case for the agency’s specific situation. The research should use and build on previous work as appropriate, and should include consideration of how data requirements and methodological limitations may influence business-case development and communication with stakeholders about the business case.



The objective of this research is to provide information and guidance for decision-makers at DOTs (including for this research state transportation agencies, sub-state and multi-state entities, infrastructure owners and operators, and the like) on (1) the issues influencing investment in connected-vehicle (CV) infrastructure (including both vehicle-to-infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle—V2I and I2V—communication), the potential public and private benefits and costs of CV infrastructure investment, and the potential impact of such investment on automated-vehicle (AV) deployment; (2) business cases to be made, in financial and economic terms, for investments in CV infrastructure; and (3) the methods and data any particular DOT may use to develop, evaluate, and effectively present a business case for such investment if justified by the agency’s specific situation. The research should use and build on previous work as appropriate, and should include consideration of how data requirements and methodological limitations may influence business-case risks and communication with stakeholders about a business case.




The research team will conduct research and development activities to deliver the following products:


1. Kickoff teleconference meeting with the NCHRP project panel and staff to discuss the issues to be addressed in this research, the likely value and use of research results, and the characteristics of guidance to be produced. The discussions will be documented in a technical memorandum.


2. Interim Report 1 (IR1) analyzing private and public interests in development and deployment of CV infrastructure, how those interests overlap or diverge in various market settings, and issues influencing these interests such as security, privacy, and intellectual-property management. A draft of IR1 shall be submitted for NCHRP review and revised to address review comments. Approval of revised IR1 will be required before work proceeds on subsequent interim reports.


3. In-person workshop to present preliminary descriptions of exemplary or representative business cases for CV infrastructure investment, solicit commentary from workshop participants that may be used to enhance the cases’ value to the primary audience for guidance to be produced in this research, and verify the range of application scenarios for which guidance is likely to be useful. The research team will document workshop discussions in a technical memorandum.


4. Interim Report 2 (IR2) presenting descriptions of exemplary or representative business cases for CV infrastructure investments, analyzing the potential benefits and costs of such investments in typical market settings, and describing opportunities and constraints DOTs may have to address in adapting each case to their own particular market situation. 


5. Interim Report 3 (IR3) describing the methods and sources of data that a DOT may use to develop a business case for CV infrastructure investment suited to the DOT’s particular market conditions and investment objectives.  The methods are to be suitable for adapting a representative business case presented in IR2 or developing a novel case motivated by particular characteristics of the DOT’s economic and regulatory environment.


6. Final Report and Guidance presenting guidance to assist DOTs in development of business cases for CV infrastructure investment, incorporating the results of preceding interim documents and summarizing the research.  The report and guidance are to be suitable for publication by NCHRP.

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