The National Academies

NCHRP 23-15 [Pending]

Guidance on Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 21 months
Staff Responsibility: B. Ray Derr


The objectives of this research are to (1) develop a register of risks to state and local transportation agencies and their constituents posed by the emerging technologies of CAVs, electric vehicles, MoD/MaaS, and Advanced Air Mobility, (2) recommend approaches agencies can use to prioritize those risks, and (3) identify policies and actions to address the risks along with the potential impacts of those policies and actions. Risks shall include those to the public (e.g., safety, privacy, security, inclusion, equity, mobility, public health, and acceptance) and the agency (e.g., workforce, budget, tort liability, data governance, and changes in mission or role).


Proposals have been received and are under review by the project oversight panel.


The research plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following deliverables:

  • A clear statement of the project’s intent and scope, suitable for increasing awareness and understanding of the project and recruiting participants for outreach activities.
  • An agile project management plan that provides sufficient opportunity for oversight and direction by the project panel while not being too burdensome.
  • Development and facilitation of one or more inclusive and diverse stakeholder groups (including agency personnel, private sector representatives, subject matter experts) to assist in developing and prioritizing a comprehensive list of threats and opportunities.
  • A catalog of multi-criteria approaches to prioritizing risks that agencies can incorporate into their own processes.
  • Compilation of policy and other high-level strategies (both corrective and preventative) that an agency can employ to address the risks (threats and opportunities), including levels of ownership for each strategy (e.g., federal, state, local), likely range of effectiveness, and possible unintended consequences.
  • A plan for vetting the products of the research with AASHTO committees and other key stakeholders.
  • A final report that documents the entire research effort with an executive summary that outlines the research results. The report should include research problem statements addressing outstanding issues. It should also include recommendations on how the content of the report can be kept current subsequent to this project given the dynamic nature of these and other emerging technologies. The report should be accompanied by appropriate briefing and presentation materials and an implementation plan that identifies opportunities for dissemination and moving research into practice.

The project will be coordinated with NCHRP Project 08-127, "Emerging Issues: Impact of New Disruptive Technologies on the Performance of DOTs"  (https://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=4739), and other relevant efforts.


Emerging technologies, including connected and automated vehicles, bring a long list of potential challenges to state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies that own and manage the existing infrastructure. Significant uncertainty exists about which changes are most likely to occur and where the largest impacts could be, hampering an effective national alignment in policy and approach. While many emerging technologies are of interest, those seen as most critical are Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs), Electric Vehicles and the necessary infrastructure for their operation, Mobility on Demand (MoD)/Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and Advanced Air Mobility.

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