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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Automated Vehicles Industry Survey of Transportation Infrastructure Needs


Automated vehicle (AV) deployment can bring about transformational changes to transportation and society as a whole. The infrastructure owner-operators (IOOs), who own, maintain, and operate the infrastructure, have the opportunity to work jointly with the AV industry to provide safe and efficient operations. A key question for the IOOs is, “What transportation infrastructure improvements do AV manufacturers believe will facilitate and improve AV performance?” This study was designed to address this question through a comprehensive survey approach, including an online survey and follow-up interviews. A list of ten questions was discussed, covering the physical and digital infrastructure, infrastructure maintenance, standards and specifications, policy support, data sharing, and so forth. The researchers reached out to more than 60 entities who hold the AV testing permit in California. In total, 20 companies responded. They were from different sectors and well represented the AV industry. From the results of this study, it is concluded that the most important roadway characteristics that have the potential to benefit the automated driving system (ADS) are: (1) digital mapping and signage; (2) lane markings; (3) work zone and incident information; (4) vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications; (5) actual traffic signals; (6) general signage; and (7) lighting. The digital features considered most critical to help accelerate ADS deployment include work zone and road closure information, traffic signal phase and timing, and traffic congestion. This study provides diverse voices and in-depth insights into topics that the AV industry and IOOs should engage in to advance AVs’ deployment.

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