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: Dr. Zuxuan Deng


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.


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).


Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objectives. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task. Proposers are expected to present a research plan that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objectives. NCHRP may choose to publish interim work products. The research approach should address this potential.

The research plan shall describe appropriate deliverables that include, but are not limited to the following:

  • 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 (see Special Note E). 

The research plan may include additional deliverables as well as additional panel meetings via teleconferences. The research plan shall include a schedule for completion of the research that includes 3 months for panel review and for contractor revision of the final research product(s).

STATUS: Contract pending

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