Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. National Automation Readiness Framework: Coast-to-Coast Automated Mobility

Motor-vehicle automation offers unprecedented potential to transform our transportation system. Rapidly improving technologies could soon offer solutions to some of the biggest challenges in transportation, leading to dramatic improvements in safety and mobility operations. The goal of this proposal is to prepare for this new era of transportation by engaging with these new automation technologies to ensure safety and national interoperability without hampering innovation. To achieve this goal, the traditional DOT approach to mobility operations will be modernized to respond to these rapidly evolving technologies, without prejudging these technologies and their capabilities, by developing a readiness framework that defines goals, objectives, and priorities for mobility automation. The proposed framework will play an important role in informing a state and national approach to automation as well as in creating documentation to serve as a foundation for future activities and providing a holistic approach to automation, helping to avoid siloed activities. Encouraging innovation throughout these efforts will ensure that state and national transportation systems remain competitive in automation technology. Several complimentary, high-profile stakeholder engagements have already been undertaken to inform the development of an automated vehicle (AV) framework more generally: (1) In December 2017, USDOT hosted the Roundtable on Data for Automated Vehicle Safety as part of an effort to accelerate the safe integration of AVs by facilitating the mutually beneficial exchange of data between private sector entities, infrastructure operators, and policy-makers. The roundtable convened over 60 participants from Federal, State, and local governments businesses, nonprofit organizations, universities, and research centers to provide feedback on the Department’s Guiding Principles on Voluntary Data Exchanges to Accelerate the Safe Deployment of Automated Vehicles and the Framework for Voluntary Data Exchanges to Accelerate the Safe Deployment of Automated Vehicles. Participants also identified near-term priorities for voluntary data exchanges that will support AV deployment. (2) In March 2018, USDOT brought together hundred transportation stakeholders at a Public Listening Summit on Automated Vehicle Policy, including experts in industry, government, labor, and advocacy, as well as members of the public, to provide feedback on the Department’s role in safely integrating AVs into the Nation’s transportation system. This summit reinforced the Department’s commitment to a multi-modal, unified approach to AVs. Also in early 2018, several operating administrations released requests for comments or requests for information to solicit information on the potential impacts of automation. The intent of these requests has been to identify unnecessary institutional, policy, and regulatory or statutory barriers to automation; identify opportunities and challenges for AV demonstrations and integration; and inform future research needs. (3) Perhaps most notably, USDOT launched the National Dialogue on Highway Automation in Detroit on June 7, 2018. The Dialogue stands as a significant opportunity to engage the public and broader stakeholder community to understand key areas of interest and prepare DOT programs and policies to incorporate automation considerations. The dialogue consists of a series of meetings that engage both traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to ensure broad input into DOT’s research, policy, and implementation assistance. In addition to soliciting feedback, these meetings will aid in the development of a national transportation community for automation - One of the many milestones required to prepare local, state and national infrastructure for automated mobility alongside rapid advancements in the vehicle technology sector. For infrastructure owners and operators, it is important to understand the complexity of issues that will be faced, and the tasks that will need to be performed in order to accommodate autonomous mobility on the roadway. For example, connected vehicles will require roadside infrastructure and communications to supporting systems, and therefore the DOTs that own and operate the infrastructure will need to play a large role in these developments and deployments. Given that autonomous vehicles will benefit from communications with roadside infrastructure, there is considerable interaction with roadway operators and autonomous vehicle advances. As a result, the proposed framework will be integrated and complimentary to the current Connected Road Classification System (CRCS) concept development project under NCHRP at CDOT which will define a road classification system with 6 levels of roadway readiness to support a fully autonomous future. At this time, there is a unique window of opportunity where many infrastructure owners and operators have yet to invest significant resources to support the autonomous future. This time period is limited as infrastructure owners and operators will need to very soon begin to prepare for the rollout that will occur in the coming years. A risk is that individual states may begin a piecemeal approach to developing their roadways for autonomous mobility, resulting in a situation that multiplies the effort required for vehicles to match their level of automation to various scenarios defined by different DOTs. Research is needed to support development of a National Highway Automation Readiness Framework that will guide the nation’s infrastructure owners and operators toward a common, shared vision, goals, and objectives. The objective of this project is to provide the bases for development of a national highway automation readiness framework designed specifically for greater accessibility, safety, affordability, efficiency, and connectivity and that will serve as the model for the country. The project will engage a core set of stakeholders comprised of both public sector roadway owners and operators and advanced industry representatives in automation, while refining the concept as appropriate based on the input received and then presenting the concept to additional DOTs through various outreach mechanisms with the ultimate goal of reaching consensus and formally proposing the national concept to USDOT. Research results may be discussed at AASHTO and TRB meetings and possibly other venues to refine the concepts.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $180000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(126)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Derr, B

  • Start Date: 20200310
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01696594
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(126)
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2019 7:21PM