|Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) could be game-changers in areas of transportation that Oregonians care most about: safety, mobility and sustainability. We are identifying connected vehicle applications that are the most beneficial to our state, watching how other states integrate this technology, identifying their outcomes and preparing our own system for future changes.
What are Connected and Automated Vehicles?
Connected Vehicles (CVs) communicate with other vehicles, wireless devices and infrastructure (such as traffic signals and work zones). They also provide warning messages to prevent collisions.
Automated Vehicles (AVs) are vehicles that use sensors and video to drive themselves. Often called "self-driving" vehicles, AVs partially or entirely remove the need for a driver to control the system.
Why do we need CAV technology?
The potential benefits of crash avoidance technology is unlimited. It can improve travel by:
- CAV technology could dramatically improve safety by lessening the impact of human error, resulting in fewer crashes, injuries and deaths.
- According to a NHTSA study, CV applications could reduce up to 80 percent of crashes where drivers are not impaired. This could prevent millions of crashes and save thousands of lives each year.
Increasing mobility by keeping traffic flowing smoothly and providing transportation options for those who cannot drive
- Data from CVs can give drivers warnings so they can adjust to traffic changes. Drivers are able to plan efficient and less stressful commutes.
- AVs could increase access to the transportation system for children, seniors and those with disabilities and/or impairments in ways previously unrealized or currently restricted.
- Improving the environment by decreasing traffic congestion
- CAV technology enables freeflowing traffic, with fewer stops and starts, and prioritizes certain vehicles such as transit at intersections. This can improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions and idling.
What are we doing now?
We know that CAVs will fundamentally change our transportation system and how we do business. To prepare we are:
- Looking at ways to leverage crash-avoidance technology so it can improve transportation safety;
- Keeping an eye on the development of national standards to guide future implementation;
- Considering how AV technology will impact policy, technical standards and data in Oregon, and beyond state lines.
- Changes in how vehicles are operated brings up significant policy questions around driver licensing, testing and education, vehicle registration and liability insurance requirements, etc.
We've completed a Connected and Automated Vehicle Initiative to help our agency understand when, how and what we need to do to adapt and stay current on emerging CAV technology as it becomes mainstream. As part of this work, we formed a steering team to guide priorities, identify strategic investments and develop a strategy for responding to national opportunities and regulations down the road.
Contact Andrew Dick
for more information about ODOT's approach to connected and automated vehicles in Oregon.
Photo courtesy of USDOT
Did you know? CAV technology protects our privacy so that transportation agencies and vehicle manufacturers can retrieve important safety information from vehicles without compromising the personal information of their drivers.