The National Academies

NCHRP 20-102(15) [Final]

Impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicle Technologies on the Highway Infrastructure
[ NCHRP 20-102 (Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies--Task-Order Support) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $649,996
Research Agency: Booz Allen Hamilton
Principal Investigator: Sudharson Sundararajan
Effective Date: 5/24/2018
Completion Date: 2/23/2020


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.

The objective of this research was 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. 


This research approach consisted of five main tasks and its respective sub-tasks to develop in-depth findings from the technological, policy, and deployment aspects of integrating these new elements into the nation’s future transportation ecosystem. This research produces guidance that considers trends and timelines in the development and deployment of various connected and automated driving technologies (primarily Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] Levels 2 and 3, with some consideration of Level 4), including sensor systems and the increasing role of digital infrastructure and connectivity. The guidance describes how changes in standards and practices could advance agency goals while considering the effects on transportation agency resources. It also suggests approaches to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop and advance needed standards and practices, including data access and sharing. State and local transportation agencies; IOOs; policy, regulatory, standards organizations; and other industry stakeholders in the AV and CV ecosystem are the intended audience for this report (DISCLAIMER: This is an uncorrected draft as submitted by the Contractor. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied herein are those of the Contractor. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Academies, or the program sponsors.).

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