State DOTs Point Out Key Gaps in US DOT Autonomous-Vehicle Thinking

Funding for installation of communication infrastructure and lack of a communication standard represent significant hurdles that have not been addressed

Us Dot Autonomous Vehicles

In public comment, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials pulled a few key points state officials thought were missing from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0)” (Docket Number DOT-OST-2018-0149).

For one, the group said the document doesn't address funding and flexibility for state governments. "States are struggling to find the fiscal resources to maintain their current infrastructure, and the need to retrofit roads, bridges and other assets to accommodate [AVs] presents an undue financial burden to state DOTs," AASHTO wrote.

State DOT officials also pointed out continued uncertainty created by the lack of federal guidance on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication standards as a stumbling block for states trying to supply AV infrastructure, but remain technology neutral.

Finally, state officials think the guidance doesn't do enough to clarify how data from AVs should be shared.

(more public comment on autonomous vehicle regulation . . . )