Skip to main content

Automated Vehicles

Automated Vehicles (AVs) 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.
Connected and automated vehicles could increase travel options and make our roads safer. ODOT is monitoring technology developments, evaluating safety benefits and exploring ways connected and automated vehicles can increase mobility options for Oregonians.
ODOT is the lead agency coordinating autonomous vehicle programs and policies in Oregon, as designated by the Legislature in House Bill 4063 of 2018.

Why do we need AV technology?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 94 percent of vehicle crashes are caused by human error. The majority of crashes are caused by 1) recognition errors, where drivers are not paying attention to the road or the vehicles around them; and, 2) decision errors, such as speeding, performing illegal maneuvers and misjudging gaps between vehicles or others’ speed. Automated vehicles could eliminate the majority of these crashes.
While automated vehicle systems require much more testing and validation before they are ready for commercial deployment, engineers are working to ensure 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-degree, 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 operate more efficiently than conventional vehicles, reducing congestion and emissions.

Levels of automation

CAV levels of automation.pngSAE, the Society of Automotive Engineers, identified six levels of vehicle 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.

Interested in testing AVs in Oregon?

The Office of Innovation would like to work with any company that is interested in bringing automated vehicles to Oregon. We have a voluntary testing notification form to initiate the exchange of information between AV manufacturers and the agency.
Oregon does not currently regulate AV testing, but the voluntary notification process allows ODOT to provide safety information to interested companies on work zones and lane closures on proposed test routes and dates. It also enables us to solicit feedback from AV system developers on how to engage the industry, and to track the progress of AV testing in the state. 

Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles

Contact Us

Innovative Partnerships Coordinator
(503) 986-3998 
Policy Lead
Media Contact
Michelle Godfrey
Public Information Officer
(503) 986-3903

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