Prioritization of Risks Related to Connected and Automated Vehicles and Emerging Technologies

The potential emerging change of new technologies, including connected and automated vehicles, brings a long list of potential challenges to DOTs and other agencies who own and manage the existing infrastructure. At the AASHTO Joint Meeting of the Committee on Transportation System Operations (CTSO) and Committee on Transportation System Security and Resilience (CTSSR) in August 2019, a breakout session focused on listing some of the threats and opportunities but left questions about which were most likely to occur and where the largest impacts could be. This created an opportunity to help prioritize these threats and opportunities as well as potential management strategies using a risk-based approach in order to identify which would be most important to address first, innovate knowing the calculated risks, and to also identify where research can be used as a risk mitigation tool. A risk-based approach would utilize tools created through NCHRP and AASHTO (i.e., the AASHTO  Guide for Enterprise Risk Management) through a facilitated process with key stakeholders to identify threats and opportunities of emerging technologies, their impact and likelihood of occurrence, possible risk response strategies to reduce the level of threat or take advantage of opportunities, ownership level of the response strategies (e.g., national, state, or local agencies; private, public, or nonprofit sectors), and, finally, identify the subsequent risk rating if the response strategies were acted upon. This will provide a prioritized list of strategies to address unknown responses and other risks. Because research can be a very effective tool in managing risk, opportunities for additional research will be identified, the results of which can also provide a national research roadmap to address potential threats and opportunities of emerging technologies. A summary report will be produced with the findings of the risk assessment and research. Emerging technologies are forcing global changes that are capturing the attention of transportation agency leaders within AASHTO; however, in order to maximize resources, there needs to be alignment in policy and approach at a national level. This project would utilize the goals and objectives of CTSO and SRM, as well as other potential AASHTO committees and councils as the basis for assessing risks. The results of the risk-based approach and prioritization would then align with meeting broader strategic objectives of the AASHTO committees. The objective of this research is to place value and increase awareness on the greatest needs and opportunities resulting from potential implementation of emerging technologies that affect our transportation system. The desired outcome and final product includes the development of a risk-based prioritized listing of threats and opportunities that can advise state DOTs, the FHWA, and other key stakeholders of the most urgent issues and the best means for addressing them at this time. Major tasks include working with the project panel to clearly define the objectives of the risk assessment effort; assembling and facilitating one or more key stakeholder groups, subject matter experts, and potential risk owners to develop a comprehensive list of threats and opportunities; and then using the same group to rate the risks, define risk management strategies and levels of ownership for each strategy, and rate the resulting risks if the risk management strategies are implemented. Resulting research problem statements can then be extracted and placed into a research roadmap for emerging technologies. A summary report that includes the risk assessment and resulting strategies can also be produced. This project is expected to coordinate with the work that is being done under • NCHRP Project B08-127, Emerging Issues: Impact of New Disruptive Technologies on the Performance of DOTs, • TRB Forum on Preparing for Automated Vehicles and Shared Mobility’s Scenario Planning Effort, and • PIARC Technical Committee 1.1 – Emerging/Disruptive Technologies on Transport Administrations. This project will inform and benefit state DOT leadership, program owners, and technical experts. State DOTs as well as other key stakeholders such as government agencies, the private sector, and nonprofit areas will be able to take the results of this research, understand their ownership role, and act appropriately to identify where resources are needed both now and in the future to prepare for and implement change resulting from emerging technologies. Additional products and activities could include peer exchanges, workshops, webinars, presentations, and potential products for future phases of implementation.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 23-15

  • 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: 20200720
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01739667
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 23-15
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: May 18 2020 3:05PM