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Impacts of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technology on State DOTs: Home

Impact of New Technology

As connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology moves from the realm of research to integration into real-time traffic, state DOTs must work to develop policies and strategies that will be able to address the organizational, societal, legal and infrastructure impacts of the new technologies.  This guide looks at current resources dealing with these issues, beginning with research and work done by other states, and including information on current RiP projects and federal reports.  Other articles and reports come from academic institutions, journals (full-text and subscription),  research centers, and international studies.

Recognition of the need to plan for implementation and deployment of CAV technology is widespread, as evidenced by the large number of projects addressing aspects of these issues.  The work will be ongoing as states continue to introduce new ways for vehicles to communicate with each other and the infrastructure.

Hovering over the title will reveal a brief description of the resource, and most titles will link to full-text materials.  Those that do not can be obtained by the library through interlibrary loan. The LibGuide platform is provided through the FHWA Pooled Fund Study TPF 5(237), Library Connectivity and Development, and the Western Transportation Knowledge Network (WTKN).

Connected/Autonomous Vehicle Terms & Definitions

Connected vehicles use communication technologies to communicate with:

  • the vehicle's driver
  • other cars on the road - vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
  • roadside infrastructure - vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I)
  • the "Cloud"

Fully autonomous vehicles are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.”.  The NHTSA has established five levels of vehicle automation:

  • No-Automation (Level 0): The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls – brake, steering, throttle, and motive power – at all times.
  • Function-specific Automation (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or pre-charged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to regain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible by acting alone.
  • Combined Function Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.
  • Limited Self-Driving Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The second-generation Google car is an example of limited self-driving automation.
  • Full Self-Driving Automation (Level 4): The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. The third-generation Google car is an example of full self-driving automation. Vehicles with level 4 automation may also be referred to autonomous vehicles.

Note: Vehicles with automation levels above 3 must also incorporate connected vehicle technologies.

Vehicle to Vehicle Technology

Contributors to this Guide

Tony Knudson
ODOT Research Coordinator



Laura Wilt
ODOT Librarian


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Amanda J. Carter
555 13th St NE
Salem, OR 97301

FHWA Pooled Fund Study TPF-5(237)


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