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Connected and Automated Vehicles

Connected and Automated Vehicles are expanding travel options and have the potential to make our roads much safer. As the leaders in transportation for the state, ODOT is monitoring Automated Vehicle (AV) activities in Oregon. This allows us to prepare for the future, evaluate safety issues, and explore the opportunity to create good jobs in the industry and increase mobility options for all Oregonians.

 

CAV stands for Connected and Automated Vehicles as a whole.

​Connected Vehicles send and receive messages to other vehicles, wireless devices and infrastructure (such as traffic signals and work zones). They also provide can warning messages to prevent collisions.​

Automated Vehicles are vehicles that use sensors and computer systems to drive themselves. Often called "self-driving" cars, AVs partially or entirely remove the need for a driver to control the vehicle.

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states​ that the critical reason behind 94 percent of crashes is human error. The majority of these crashes are caused by recognition errors, where drivers are not paying attention to the road or the vehicles around them, and decision errors, such as speeding, performing illegal maneuvers, and misjudging gaps between vehicles or others’ speed.
 
Connected vehicles can help warn drivers about vehicles they do not or cannot see, adverse weather or road conditions, slow traffic or work zones, and other information that can help drivers recognize and safely respond to hazards.
 
Automated vehicles could also eventually eliminate the majority of these crashes. While these systems require much more testing and validation before they are ready for commercial deployment, engineers are working to ensure that they drive safely, closely follow traffic laws, and respond appropriately to changing road conditions. Automated vehicles do not get distracted and can monitor their environment in 360° high-precision 3D.
 
Automated vehicles can also provide increased mobility to seniors, children, people with disabilities and others who are unable or choose not to drive. They could also operate much more efficiently than conventional vehicles, reducing congestion and emissions.

Connect with us! We are looking to work with any company that has interest in bringing automated vehicles to Oregon, and we have established a voluntary testing notification process to facilitate the exchange of information between AV manufacturers and the agency. If you have any questions, email us at AVtesting@odot.state.or.us.

Why participate? ODOT does not currently regulate AV testing, but the AV Voluntary Notification allows us to provide safety information to interested companies on work zones and lane closures on proposed test routes and dates. It also enables ODOT to solicit feedback from AV system developers on how to engage the industry, and to track the progress of AV testing in the state.

Before testing: Before each AV test, ODOT encourages companies to fill out the Voluntary Notification of Automated Vehicle testing form (Note: If you cannot open the form, right-click to save it.).

The form requests information similar to that gathered by other states. This form is neither an application nor a permitting process, but instead a notification of planned testing activities. Email the completed form to AVtesting@odot.state.or.us.


After testing: ODOT also requests that AV companies submit a report after testing is complete. Email this report to AVtesting@odot.state.or.us.

The report should consist of:

  • Brief description of recent testing activities.
  • Total number of miles driven in autonomous mode each testing period.
  • Total number of disengagements of the AV system each testing period. Disengagements are specified as (1) when a failure of the autonomous technology is detected, or (2) when the safe operation of the vehicle requires that the autonomous vehicle test driver disengage the autonomous mode and take manual control of the vehicle.
  • Any collisions involving the AV system, and whether they were caused by the AV system or another vehicle.

What to expect: The objectives of voluntary notification are to ensure the safety of the transportation system and to learn from the Automated Vehicle industry. Once a voluntary notification is submitted, ODOT staff will consult with local jurisdictions and share with the testing company whether roadwork or lane closures are scheduled to occur in the test environment. ODOT will also share the intent to test with Oregon State Police, who will notify local law enforcement of the test to help alleviate confusion. ODOT will also review the application to learn more about this new field to ensure that its processes and interactions are efficient and effective.

​Contact Andrew Dick​ for more information about the Oregon Department of Transportation's approach to connected and automated vehicles in Oregon.

Connected vehicles at intersection 
Photo courtesy of USDOT

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