The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has launched a series of meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the ramifications of automated vehicles on U.S. roads. The “national dialogue” meetings are being held across the country to engage a diverse group of stakeholders from industry and the public sector to understand the key areas of interest and concern.
The dialogues specifically focus on highway automation – essentially, the readiness of highway infrastructure, information and institutional systems for automated vehicles and related technologies. Participants will include industry leaders and other stakeholders who are involved in the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of U.S. roads as well as inviting automotive makers and technology providers.
FHWA will host several of these meetings nationwide throughout this year to facilitate information sharing, identify key issues and prepare the highway and broader transportation and infrastructure community to safely and efficiently incorporate automation on the roadway network. Areas of focus will include planning, policy, data and digital infrastructure, multimodal safety, infrastructure design, traffic operations and freight.
Though automated vehicles and related technologies hold the promise of saving lives while making travel more convenient and efficient, Hendrickson added that input from state departments of transportation and others will be needed to make informed decisions.
The insights received during the sessions will inform national research, policy and programs and aid in the development of a national transportation community for automation.