Automated Transportation

Key Terminology

driving busy road

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Systems designed to help drivers with certain driving tasks (e.g., staying in the lane, parking, avoiding crashes, reducing blind spots, and maintaining a safe headway). ADAS are designed to improve safety and help reduce the workload on the driver by assisting with driving tasks.

Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that automatic braking systems that recognize pedestrians cut pedestrian crashes by 27 percent. In another study, blind spot detection has been shown to reduce lane-change crashes by 14 percent (
Cicchino, 2018).

ADAS is here today and has been adopted by vehicle manufacturers around 2018 and by 2025-2030, they will likely be standard across all passenger vehicles.

Research by the Highway Loss Data Institute also found that blind spot detection lowers rates of insurance claims covering damage to other vehicles (HLDI, 2020). The institute has also identified reduced rates of single-vehicle, side-swipe, and head-on crashes reported to law enforcement. (HLDI, 2020Cicchino, 2018Sternlund et al., 2017).

For more information on vehicle safety technologies: MyCarDoesWhat?

Automated Driving Systems (ADS)

The hardware and software that are collectively capable of performing the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis, regardless of whether it is limited to a specific operation design domain; this term is used specifically to describe a  Level 3, 4, or 5 driving automation system .

Cars communicate on road

Connected & Automated Vehicles (CAV)

  • Connected vehicles use technology to either communicate with each other, connect with traffic signals, signs, and other road items, or obtain data from a cloud.
  • Automated vehicles work independently by using technology to steer, accelerate, and brake with little to no human input.
  • CAV is the general term used to convey a system with connected and automated vehicles working together cooperatively.

Operational Design Domain (ODD)

The specific conditions (e.g., time of day, road specific, weather related) under which a given driving automation system or feature is designed to function.

PPD robot

Personal Delivery Devices (PDD)

As defined by the World Economic Forum, a Personal Delivery Device (PDD) is a ground-based robot which has been designed specifically for the purpose of delivering goods on public roads or pedestrian areas (e.g., sidewalks). The PDD may drive autonomously or be operated and monitored remotely. A PDD cannot carry passengers.


Login  |  ©  Iowa Department of Transportation.  All rights reserved.