Policy Implications of Automated Vehicle Technology

PIs: Siva Srinivasan, Ph.D., Carl Crane, Ph.D., Ruth Steiner, Ph.D., Lily Elefteriadou, Ph.D., Yafeng Yin, Ph.D. (University of Florida)

An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the University of Florida from the fields of Transportation Engineering, Urban Planning and Mechanical Engineering have been awarded a research project to provide the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) with the necessary information and guidance on drafting and implementing policies associated with the Automated Vehicles (AV) technology. 

Automated Vehicle (AV) technology is an umbrella term that includes both autonomous and connected vehicle technologies. Autonomous vehicles use sensors and advanced software to interpret its surroundings and make intelligent decisions on routing and maneuvering with limited to no manual interventions.  Connected vehicle technology relies on information gathered by vehicles and the transportation infrastructure about real-time operations of the transportation network towards improving safety and system performance. 

Automated vehicles promise to offer extraordinary improvements to both the safety and efficiency of our existing roadways and mobility systems. At the same time, Automated Vehicles are being developed and deployed at a faster rate than existing federal and state policies can adapt.  

The project will develop recommendations on how FDOT should address the potential challenges and opportunities of the presence of automated vehicles using a scenario-based approach.  The study will facilitate incorporating the planning for AV infrastructure into Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs) and to integrate statewide transportation investments with these plans.  The UF researchers will collaborate with the FDOT Automated Vehicles Working Groups and will be supported by a blue ribbon panel of national experts in this effort.