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 – Coming Soon!

The Centralina Council of Government (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 education session on what we know today and what is coming in the next 5-10 years.  Guest speakers will explain ACV technologies and the role MPOs, local governments, and other key stakeholders will play.

Workshop 2:  Discussing the Impacts

September 20th

How will ACVs impact our work and how we reach our long-range goals and objectives for public transportation, and transportation, land use planing, and other services.

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 will open soon!


What is an Autonomous Vehicle?

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.

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

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.