Many state Department of Transportation (DOTs) seek to plan and invest resources to improve their ability to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to emergencies, combat climate change, and build a transportation system that provides equitable services, improves multimodal access, and supports DOT’s long‐term resilience. Current technology advances and deployments of automated vehicle technologies using Automated Driving Systems (ADS) have the promise of significant system safety and operational improvements as well as equity and mobility opportunities to address current, unmet needs and support resiliency goals. However, these rapidly available solutions and applications also pose challenges for Infrastructure Owners and Operators (IOOs) who seek guidance as the learning curve is steep, risk tolerance is low, public perception is skeptical, and resources are especially constrained in the post‐Covid era. Organizational readiness for automated solutions is becoming paramount and pressing.
In the absence of consistent, national guidance, the organizational capacity and readiness for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) and ADS deployments varies greatly between state DOT’s. This proposed work and peer exchange will enable state DOTs and IOOs to gain critical and much needed knowledge to better understand the methods, barriers and opportunities associated with automated technology testing and pilots that are needed now. The scan will allow for the exchange of information between states in a focused and candid setting with the goal to crystalize and provide critical best practice information and decision support needed by many states. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) noted that IOOs – including state departments of transportation – play a “fundamental role” in advancing, operating, and maintaining the physical and digital infrastructure necessary to support transportation technologies such as CAVs. Many unknowns remain for CAV. These include: the path and timeline to deployment is unclear; level 5 automation technology is costly to develop; it is unclear whether CAVs will be individually owned or shared; the public remains unfamiliar and skeptical of the technology; the CAV industry continues to evolve, consolidate, and change. DOTs have limited resources but are urged to embrace and deploy technologies. The results of this proposed research and peer exchange aim to help IOOs to implement available technologies while implementing the AASHTO policy goals and related strategies (https://mobility.transportation.org/wp‐content/uploads/sites/65/2021/10/CAV‐Policy‐Principles‐v4‐press.pdf)
The peer exchange will identify a set of best practices to help IOO’s make practical and feasible technology investment decisions. It will allow for the specific exchange of information between states in a focused and candid setting with the goal to crystalize and provide critical best practice information and decision support needed by many states. This will enhance IOOs’ understanding of how to approach the following areas and disciplines involved in ADS deployments and applications: planning, financing, programming, policy development, risk management and resiliency, safety management, equity analysis, infrastructure readiness and system operation. In addition, the scan results will also support and advance critical alignments including:
- Building upon and implementing NCHRP Project 20‐24(128), “State of the Art Review of Cooperative Automated Transportation Systems International CAT Scan” findings;
- Supporting the implementation of AASHTO’s CAV Policy Principles; and
- Informing the Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) Coalition’s future work.