Connected and Automated Vehicles: Resources to Assist Local Agency Preparation

by Chris Melson, Louisiana LTAP Program Manager

This article was published on Page 1 of LTAP Technology Exchange Newsletter (Winter 2020-2021 Edition).

Examples of mobility-based CAV applications: (a) truck platooning, (b) cooperative merging, (c) signalized intersection approach and departure, and (d) cooperative adaptive cruise control.

Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) offer potentially transformative and far-reaching impacts to the transportation system and other associated reliant fields. This may include impacts to safety, congestion, personal mobility, land use, socio-economic characteristics, and the economy. However, realized benefits will be directly tied to how well public agencies prepare for these emerging technologies. Ideally, agencies interested in implementing CAV technology should consider the following:

Gaining Knowledge of the Technology and Infrastructure Requirements: This includes basic understanding of the physical CAV hardware, operational limitations, adoption timeline, and infrastructure required to support field deployment. Infrastructure needs may range from CAV-based equipment to less obvious requirements for safe AV operation. For example, proposed changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) include a new section for CAV considerations.

Assessing Potential of CAV Deployment: Although significant uncertainties exist, it is important for agencies to assess whether CAV implementations are practical and address their unique needs. There are many possible applications of CAV technology in both urban and rural settings. Enhanced monitoring of corridors in the Wyoming DOT CAV Pilot and DriveOhio 33 Smart Mobility Corridor are prominent examples of rural CAV deployments addressing specific, local transportation issues.

Planning for CAVs and Integrating into Agency Operation: Supporting local CAV deployment can take many forms: updating internal planning documents, policies, and procedures; updating legislation and financial investment; updating communication infrastructure; and engaging potential partners, etc. The main CAV efforts in Louisiana stem from two legislative bills: one allowing operation of V2V-based platooning and the other operation of autonomous commercial motor vehicles on Louisiana roadways. If possible, being involved in existing initiatives (such as DOTD’s CAV planning efforts) is also suggested.

It is clear that preparing for CAVs is a challenging task. LTAP has prepared a curated list of resources to assist local agencies in preparing for CAV technology. The collection is not meant to be exhaustive, but to provide key resources to initially inform and assist local agencies in their own preparatory efforts.

The list is currently in draft form, but will continually be updated. Learn more about Louisiana's CAV Efforts.