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Connected Vehicles Technology: Home

Impact of New Technology

Connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology is evolving at a rapid pace.  Transportation agencies 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 that address these issues, including legislation and federal regulations, research conducted by federal and state agencies, information on current projects, obstacles to CAV, the vehicle manufacturers and developers, and news sources.  Articles and reports come from academic institutions, journals (full-text and subscription),  research centers, and international studies.

The LibGuide platform is provided through the FHWA Pooled Fund Study TPF 5(237), Library Connectivity and Development, and the Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network (ETKN) 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

Connected Vehicles Technology

This LibGuide is a project resulting from FHWA Transportation Library Connectivity and Development Pooled Fund Study [TPF-5(237)], a collaborative effort benefiting the development of transportation library services and programs. Librarians, graduate students, and transportation professionals from the Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network and the Western Transportation Knowledge Network have contributed to this guide.


Volpe Center Technical Library and Information Center
                 Susan Dresley, Librarian                             617-494-2117
Amanda Ferrante, Student Trainee, Librarian  617-494-2117
Oregon Department of Transportation
Tony Knudson, ODOT Research Coordinator  503-986-2848
Laura Wilt, ODOT Librarian                503-986-3280
Connecticut Department of Transportation
Betty Ambler, CT DOT Librarian                 860-594-3035