New Project: Autonomous Vehicles – What Should Local Agencies Expect?

Connected Automated Vehicles (CAV) are part of tomorrow’s transportation future happening today. The evolution of vehicle technology is shifting how drivers interact with the infrastructure around them. Local agencies are beginning to respond and anticipate these changes, while CAV manufacturers request to test their vehicles on local roadways further pushing the urgency on local agencies.

Although professional groups locally and nationally have invested time and money to research how to implement CAV, local agencies do not have the time or a reliable local repository for keeping track of all the research that is taking place nationwide.

A new research project plans to answer:

  • What should local agencies do to prepare?
  • What should local agencies consider before saying “yes” to the CAV manufacturers?
  • What policies should be developed?
  • When reconstructing or adding traffic signage, are there things to incorporate that should be considered?
    • Example: A car with automatic breaking completely stops when close to a bump-out. Does it make sense to put white edgelines on the road so that the new autonomous vehicles can work as intended? Do the edgelines have to be a specific width?
    • Example: Newer cars will tell you if you are going out of your lane. Vehicles need clear edgelines that car sensors can identify (edgelines need good contrast with the pavement). Local agencies are looking for guidance on what to tell decision makers on what to expect in the future and how edgelines need to be built right now.
  • What should local agencies be aware of and/or how should you design/prep your infrastructure to be able to adapt for CAV in the future (narrower lanes, signals, signage, etc.)?
  • How to keep in-the-know as new technology evolves?

Additionally, the project team will review and synthesize two recently completed studies, funded by the Local Road Research Board: Preparing Local Agencies for the Future of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, and How Locals Need To Prepare for the Future of V2V/V2I Connected Vehicles.

Project Details

  • Estimated Start Date: 08/11/2020
  • Estimated Completion Date: 07/31/2021
  • Funding: Local Road Research Board
  • Principal Investigator: Michael Marti
  • Technical Liaison: Wayne Sandberg

Details of the research study work plan and timeline are subject to change.

To receive email updates about this project, visit the Local Road Research Board to subscribe.

2 thoughts on “New Project: Autonomous Vehicles – What Should Local Agencies Expect?”

  1. I think planning should also be underway for smaller Personal Mobility Vehicles that are mostly electric assisted or fully powered. These PMVs weight less than 750 lbs and can travel from 10-20 mph. Currently, e-bikes are the leading entry into this category. They need special vehicle lanes and support.

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