Skip to main content

Automated Vehicles

Connected and automated vehicles have the potential to increase travel options and make our roads safer. As the leader in transportation for the state, ODOT is monitoring automated vehicle activities in Oregon. This allows us to prepare for the future, evaluate safety benefits, and explore the opportunity to increase mobility options for all Oregonians.

Automated Vehicles (AVs) 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.

CAV stands for connected and automated vehicles as a whole.

Levels of Automation

SAE, the Society of Automative Engineers, identified six levels of automation starting with Level 0, or no automation whatsoever, through Level 5, in which the vehicle has complete control.

You might already be driving a vehicle that is above Level 0. Level 1 automation includes automatic transmission, lane-keeping technologies and assisted cruise control. Level 2 includes some of these technologies working in conjunction (such as in Tesla's autopilot mode). It is Levels 3 through 5 where the Office of Innovation is focusing its attention.​

Chart showing levels of automation

Click on the image to view a larger version of the chart.

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.
Automated vehicles could 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.

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.



Contact Us

Office of Innovation manager

Policy Analyst

Michelle Godfrey
Public Information Officer

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how