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21st century operations using 21st century technologies

National Dialogue on Highway Automation

Background

Automated vehicles have the potential to significantly transform the nation's roadways. They offer potential safety benefits but also introduce uncertainty for the agencies responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the roadway infrastructure. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is initiating a national conversation with partners and stakeholders, as well as the public at-large, to receive broad input on key areas of interest and prepare FHWA programs and policies to incorporate automation considerations. The National Dialogue on Highway Automation is a series of meetings held across the country to facilitate information sharing, identify key issues, and support the transportation community to safely and efficiently integrate automated vehicles into the road network. Input received during the National Dialogue will help inform FHWA research, policies, and programs.

This National Dialogue will engage an expanded set of stakeholders—beyond FHWA's typical stakeholders—in order to ensure that this issue receives broad input. Stakeholders will include, but are not limited to, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), technology suppliers, transportation network companies (TNCs), associations, State and local agencies, and public sector partners.

Format

The National Dialogue meetings are designed to support significant interaction among participants and will be held in different locations across the country, running from June 2018 through the end of the calendar year. Workshops will include discussions with government and industry leaders, breakout sessions, listening sessions and opportunities to collaborate with meeting participants. Each workshop will run from 1 to 1.5 days and will have both general sessions and sessions designated around a specific topic or focus area.

Objectives

  1. Listen: Gather detailed input from a diverse group of stakeholders regarding opportunities and challenges on highway automation, such as infrastructure readiness, traffic operations, policy, planning, and other areas.
  2. Engage: Facilitate information sharing among industry, public agencies and others to understand the current state of automated vehicle technologies and inform FHWA actions.
  3. Inform: Raise awareness of FHWA and USDOT initiatives in automation, serving as a resource for the transportation community.
  4. Evolve: Update institutional structures for working with existing and new stakeholders to develop new partnerships and strengthen coordination channels.

Focus Areas

The FHWA National Dialogue on Highway Automation workshops will address the following focus areas as they represent key categories of interest to the highway community.

  1. Planning and Policy: Considers issues relevant for the planning and policy community, such as how automation impacts travel demand, land use, infrastructure investment, right of way use, policy barriers, and other topics.
  2. Digital Infrastructure and Data: Explores the data opportunities and challenges regarding highway automation. Will identify new partnerships and collaboration between public agencies and industry to enable data exchange.
  3. Freight: Explores truck platooning applications and truck automation, as well as implications for traffic operations and infrastructure.
  4. Operations: Addresses the range of operations questions with respect to automation, such as traffic incident management and system efficiency. Will initiate a discussion on further research needed to understand these types of challenges.
  5. Infrastructure Design and Safety: Discusses infrastructure design and standardization needs to facilitate automation. Will highlight areas where automation technology developers and public agencies need discussion and collaboration to address where the roadway infrastructure, design, condition, and environment could lead to potential safety challenges.

Upcoming Events: Getting Involved in the National Dialogue

  • June 26-27, 2018 – National Workshop 1: Policy and Planning, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Register)

National Dialogue on Highway Automation Workshops: Tentative Schedule

A listing of potential dates for upcoming National Dialogue on Highway Automation workshops.
Month Event Location Focus Area
August 1-2, 2018 National Workshop 2 Seattle, Washington Digital Infrastructure and Data
Early September, 2018 National Workshop 3 Chicago, Illinois Freight
October 24-25, 2018 National Workshop 4 Phoenix, Arizona Operations
Week of November 12, 2018 National Workshop 5 Austin, Texas Infrastructure Design and Safety

Archived Materials

June 7, 2018 – National Dialogue Launch Workshop, Detroit, Michigan

  • National Dialogue Fact Sheet (HTML, PDF 109KB)
  • Presentation – Overview of Federal Highway Administration Activities (HTML, PDF 190KB)

May 8, 2018 – National Dialogue Launch Webinar

Resources

Contact

John Corbin, PE, PTOE
Connected Automated Vehicle Program Manager
FHWA Office of Operations
john.corbin@dot.gov