The National Academies

NCHRP 20-102(13) [Anticipated]

Planning Data Needs and Collection Techniques for CV/AV Applications
[ NCHRP 20-102 (Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies--Task-Order Support) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Staff Responsibility: TBD
Fiscal Year: 2017


Note: While similar to Task 14, this problem statement focuses on data for planning purposes.

As owners and operators of transportation infrastructure, state and local agencies maintain databases of relevant information. Currently, this includes travel survey records, traffic counts, crash records, design “as built” plan sets, construction schedules, and many more. CV/AV applications need certain information about the environment and infrastructure in a variety of time scales, and information about the potential impact of CV/AV on future transportation. Household travel surveys are administered on a regular basis in many MPOs, and in several states. However, no information about the potential impact that CV/AV would have on future travel is available from these surveys, and no consensus exists about standards to collect information in this area. Similarly, some AV developers are currently storing detailed digital 3-D maps for reference during automated driving. Perhaps such an asset of a public agency could be valuable to many applications, but this requires maintenance. Some agencies provide access to various sets of information electronically, others are available through records requests, and yet others are not available at all. Agencies vary widely in their ability to provide access to certain information now and in the future. There is a need to identify the information that is necessary for agencies to maintain to plan, enable, and enhance CV/AV applications; develop standard formats and standard systems where they would be helpful and do not already exist; and provide guidance for agencies on how to implement strategies for collecting, updating, maintaining, and disseminating the information.

Similarly, a variety of information about travel conditions can be collected by CV/AV enabled vehicles and can be shared with agencies to enhance their operations. Agencies currently struggle to collect good information about origin-destination flows, traffic volumes, travel delays, pavement surface quality, crash and anomaly location, and location of work zones, among others. There is a need to identify standards for collection of this information, how it is communicated to agencies, stored, maintained, updated, and eventually used to enhance transportation planning, operations, and maintenance. 

The Safety Pilot Model Deployment and the upcoming additional CV pilot deployments will continue to contribute valuable information on the design and implementation of management systems for dissemination of agency-owned data and ingestion of CV/AV generated information for agency operations. The scalability of these systems needs to be estimated in this research as the penetration level of CV/AV technology advances from several thousand vehicles to several millions. Similarly, each CV pilot deployment will only deploy a small subset of the 50+ envisioned applications. Scalability of the back-end system to eventually accommodate up to 50 applications will also need to be explored in this research.


The objective of this research is to develop guidance on data collection and management strategies for the planning needs of typical agencies. This research will be coordinated with Task 14 that is looking at the operational realm.

The research team will define the data sensitive to the deployment of CVs and AVs that is needed by transportation planning organizations across the spectrum of planning applications. The team will describe promising approaches to forecasting that data and likely sources for the data underlying those forecasting approaches. Useful private sector sources of the underlying data will be described as well as obstacles to their use. A catalog of recommended stated preference questions and collection methods will be developed to allow market acceptance of these technologies to be charted over time and over different regions. Scenarios for typical agencies at state, regional, and local levels will be developed as examples for data management recommendations (including ingesting, storing, and using this data). The team will (a) review existing standards, formats, and commonly used technologies and (b) develop recommendations for harmonizing standards, developing dissemination and data collection systems or approaches, and ways of maintaining the information that is disseminated and using the data that is collected over time. Maintenance of the information over time is the critical component of the research and the recommendations. These tasks also should identify data availability policies and methods to address privacy and security concerns while not compromising the value of the information collected from CV/AV enabled vehicles.

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