Autonomous & Connected Vehicles

Evolving vehicle technologies have the potential to alter all aspects of mobility and change how drivers and the transportation network interact.  Autonomous and connected vehicles will likely have a significant impact on the way we live and move around.  Government agencies can help guide the adoption and application of this vehicle technology.  Local governments and the region’s transportation planning organizations will serve an important role in planning for how these vehicles impact our communities and transportation network.

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles have many potential benefits and challenges. Local governments will need to start planning now for the transition to driverless and connected vehicles.

Fall 2017 Workshop Series

The Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) will host a series of three workshops in the fall of 2017 to facilitate understanding of autonomous and connected vehicle (ACV) technology and how MPOs and local governments can prepare for these new technologies.  The workshops will be a combination of learning and cross-sector discussion that will culminate in next best steps for the region.

Workshop 1: Clearing the Hype

August 23rd

An educational session on what we know today and what is coming in the next 5-10 years. Participants will leave with a raised awareness, education, and a clearer sense of the emerging and disruptive issue of Automated and Connected Vehicles or ACV and begin to grasp its growing near-term impact within transportation.  Participants will learn about NCDOT’s early strategy and response to this impeding change and be exposed to both presentations and a panel discussion which summarize related research, legislation, and actions taken at the national and state levels, including other State DOTs and MPOs.

Workshop 1 Speakers include:

  • Brian Burkhard, Jacobs Engineering
  • Doug Gettman, Kimley Horn & Associates
  • Keith Hangland, HERE
  • Sam Van Hecke, Cambridge Systematics
  • Mark Jensen, Cambridge Systematics
  • Kevin Lacy, NCDOT

Workshop 2:  Discussing the Impacts

September 20th

How will ACVs impact our work and how we reach our long-range goals and objectives in the areas of public transportation, transportation planning, land use, modeling and forecasting, fleet services, etc.

Workshop 3: Developing an Action Plan

October 25th

Determine key steps our region can take to prepare for and make the most of this game-changing technology by incorporating input from government, business, economic development and academia interests.

Registration for Workshop Series is now open!

Register at:!


Quick 101:

What is an Autonomous Vehicle?

Levels of Vehicle Autonomy (By Left Lane Advisers)d.

Autonomous (also known as self-driving, driverless, or robotic) vehicles (AV) are vehicles in which some aspect of vehicle control is automated by the car.  These vehicles have the potential to increase safety, improve mobility, and reduce environmental impacts on a global scale. Many vehicles on the market today already include some level of automation, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and parking assist, with more features expected in the next year or two.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a formal classification system focused on the degree of human intervention needed.

Level 0: The human driver is in complete control of all functions of the car.

Level 1: A single vehicle function is automated.

Level 2: More than one function is automated at the same time (e.g., steering and acceleration), but the driver must remain constantly attentive.

Level 3: The driving functions are sufficiently automated that the driver can safely engage in other activities.

Level 4: The car can drive itself without a human driver.

What are Connected Vehicles?

Connected Vehicle Technology (By automotiveIT)

A Connected Vehicle refers to the capability of the various elements of the modern surface transportation system (personal, transit, and freight vehicles, roadside infrastructure, transportation management centers, etc.) to electronically communicate with each other on a rapid and continuous basis.  Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) allow rapid communications (up to 10 times per second) between elements of a connected vehicle network, particularly for safety critical applications. With safety as a primary goal, connected vehicle technology is anticipated to aid motorists in actively avoiding crashes and other incidents.  Connected vehicle technology is distinct from autonomous vehicles.

A widespread deployment of connected vehicle technology is anticipated to provide numerous additional benefits beyond safety. DSRC technology will enable innovative mobility deployments such as cooperative cruise control and vehicle platooning, increasing roadway throughput and reducing congestion. Coordination between vehicles and infrastructure will mitigate unnecessary breaking and stopping at intersections, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and lowered emissions.






How the Bay Area took over the self-driving car business – San Francisco Chronicle 

Who’s Calling the Shots On Autonomous Vehicles? – City Lab

9 radical changes that are coming to transportation – Vox

How free self-driving car rides could change everything

How Driverless Cars Could Be a Big Problem for Cities – Governing

NCHRP Report 845: Advancing Automated and Connected Vehicles: Policy and Planning Strategies for State and Local Transportation Agencies

NCDOT chief: Electric, driverless cars could dry up road funds

Malfunction Fears May Haunt Self-Driving Cars

Experts weigh in: Will autonomous vehicles mean more congestion — or less?

Would You Buy a Self-Driving Car from These Guys?

Workshop Series Supported by: