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In Iowa, we view automated transportation as having four key components.
Today’s transportation system serves a wide variety of travel modes, users, and vehicle types. The transportation and automotive industry both recognize that achieving higher levels of safety and efficiency requires even more vehicles enabled with systems that correct and assist driver performance. These new capabilities are made possible through advanced on-board systems that are enabled by cameras, radars, and a range of other sensors that assist driver in real time through monitoring the roadway environment and driver tasks.
While there is some form of automation present or
being pursued in all modes of travel, the focus in this context is automation
on the surface (roadway) transportation system. Lastly, while technology
continues to evolve, some key automation use cases have been identified to support
freight (automated trucking – long haul/middle mile, small personal delivery devices),
transit (fixed-route or on-demand), individual travel (commercial or privately
owned passenger vehicles), and agency operations (roadway maintenance vehicles).
While roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure are important to the transportation system, so too are other forms of infrastructure, those that are digital in nature – technology that supports communication, data, and the transmission of data to enable connectivity between a traffic management center, vehicles, or infrastructure.
Critical components not typically recognized are the institutional systems – such things as the enabling policy that allows for the operation of automated vehicles or devices on public roads and other support functions such as roadway maintenance and vehicle registration and titling.
The three system components above will need to be enabled or upgraded/retrofitted to support one another to integrate
and allow the use of automated transportation modes on public roadway systems by communities, businesses, and
travelers. These system interactions will be critical to ensure successful deployment and the safe integration of
connected and automated vehicles and infrastructure.
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