|Connected and Automated Vehicles|
Recent industry advancements in wireless communication and driving automation continues to pave the way for new developments in transformative vehicle technologies such as Connected Vehicles (CV) and Automated Vehicles (AV). Independently, both CV and AV technologies have the potential to bring tremendous impacts to the transportation system. However, it is the combination and the integration of these two types of technologies, forming Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV), that have the potential to bring the most substantial changes to the future of transportation. Over the next few decades, if CAV reaches a critical mass on the roadway the range of impacts could be extensive. The proliferation of CAV could cause large-scale changes to road use that may have dramatic implications (some desired, some challenging) for transportation safety, mobility, transit operations, workforce development, personal privacy and security, public investment in infrastructure, among many other broad issues.
Chief among the potential impacts of most importance to the CTDOT is the prospective for CAV to bring dramatic improvements to transportation safety. Currently almost 95% of all roadway crashes in the United States are caused by some form of human error, which kill about 40,000 Americans on the roadway each year. In a typical year in Connecticut, over 100,000 crashes, more than 30,000 injuries and more than 250 deaths are the result of human error. If CAV technological capabilities continue to mature and market penetration rates of CAV technologies increase, there could be the potential for significant improvements in transportation safety. This may allow the CTDOT as well as other transportation agencies around the country to better achieve their transportation safety goals and ultimately get much closer to zero deaths on the roadway. In addition to dramatically improving safety, the potential for CAV to also help reduce congestion and enhance individual mobility options through the development of better coordinated transportation networks, increased vehicle efficiencies and shared mobility services are other key areas of interest for the CTDOT.
While the prospective safety, mobility and other benefits of CAV are promising, in-order-for these benefits to be realized CAV technologies will need to become widespread. As of today, the viewpoints among many industry experts differ considerably when this may happen. Some of the early actions needed to support or prepare for the advancement and mass proliferation of CAV are extensive and require significant cooperative efforts among a diverse group of public and private sector entities to accomplish. Examples of some of these actions are bulleted below. Over the coming years, the CTDOT will work with others at the local, state, regional and national level to help address some of these issues and participate in efforts to advance the potential for a CAV future that supports the CTDOT’s goals.
Actions Needed to Advance CAV:
- Increased testing and deployments of CAV technologies and equipment within laboratories, controlled testbeds and especially on public roadways around the country
- Increased public sector investments and improvements in surface transportation state of good repair (SOGR) and cooperative CAV infrastructure to enhance the safety, performance and capabilities of CAV
- Development of consistent laws, regulations and policies among all levels of government throughout the country that support seamless operation of CAV across all jurisdictions
- Establishment of additional and effective national industry standards to promote safe, reliable, consistent, and interoperable deployment of CAV technologies that are more future proof and provide both industry and infrastructure owner operators (IOO) with the confidence needed to invest more of their time, resources, equipment and infrastructure into CAV technologies
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) preservation of the entire 5.9GHz spectrum (safety band) to limit interference issues and enable and ensure full connectivity options for CAV technologies
- Vast improvements in the general public understanding, experience and acceptance of CAV technologies
Key Terms – Click here for definitions of key terms related to CAV.