With the rapid advance of technologies for realizing connected and automated vehicles (CAV) suited for use on public roads, many stakeholders in the public and private sectors have recognized the value of maintaining active forums for discussion of common problems and seeking out potential solutions to those problems. The Connected and Automated Vehicle Executive Leadership Team (CAV-ELT), for example, is a self-organized group concerned with facilitating progress in development and adoption of connected and automated vehicle technologies. The membership includes executives from state and local transportation agencies, automobile manufacturers, other private-sector entities, and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Deployment Coalition (V2I-DC), another example, has been formed to serve as a single point of reference for stakeholders from public transportation agencies, the private sector, and academia to meet and discuss V2I deployment related issues. Many state departments of transportation (DOTs) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have been actively engaged with these groups.
In 2016, the CAV-ELT identified following seven high priority policy issues areas and developed concept definitions outlining research initiatives to address each issue:
1. National Guidelines
2. Early-Stage Risks
4. Industry-Government Information Exchange
5. Data Access Provisions
6. Public Outreach and Education
7. Planning Scenarios.
With the leadership of AASHTO’s member DOTs, NCHRP research initiatives have been undertaken to address specific concerns in the first two of these policy issues areas: National Guidelines and Early Stage Risks. Research is needed to refine the CAV-ELT concept definitions and advance policy development in the remaining 5 issues areas. This research should build on continuing activities engaging CAV-ELT and V2I-DC members and others, such as the “AV Round Table” held in conjunction with the 2017 SAE Auto Show, meetings of the “IOO-OEM Forum” (collaboration of Infrastructure Owner Operators (IOOs) and the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)), and activities surrounding the “SPaT Challenge” (to deploy DSRC-based broadcasts of Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) messages in about 20 intersections in each of the 50 states by 2020).
The objective of this project will be to provide technical support for continuing DOT engagement with the CAV-ELT and V2I-DC in pursuit policy development in previously defined issues areas. The work will be linked to ongoing activities of AASHTO and its member DOTs.
Research to be undertaken will likely entail at least the following components:
1. Identification of intermediate-range research agendas for 5 CAV-ELT policy issues. Work with CAV-ELT members to refine concept definitions and develop 3- to 5-year research agendas for interoperability, industry-government information exchange, data access provisions, public outreach and education, and planning scenarios. Consider relationships of CAV-ELT activities to those of the AASHTO AV Public Policy Roundtable and other relevant initiatives. Organize, facilitate, and document webinars and possibly one in-person meeting of the CAV-ELT as needed. Deliver a technical report presenting the concept definitions and research agendas and documenting the activities on which these are based. Include in the report a brochure to inform senior DOT leadership and others on safety and mobility aspects of CAV-ELT activities.
2. Development of V2I-DC model concept of operations for the SPaT Challenge and initiating document for the Connected Fleet Challenge. Work with V2I-DC and IOO-OEM Forum members and working groups to develop documents presenting a concept of operations for the SPaT Challenge and concepts and principles for the anticipated Connected Vehicle Challenge (to deploy on-board DSRC units in at least one vehicle of every transportation-agency fleet.) Organize, facilitate, and document webinars and possibly one in-person meeting of the IOO-OEM Forum as needed. Deliver a technical report presenting the research results and documenting the activities on which these are based.