First National Dialogue on Highway Automation Meeting Under Way

FHWA is opening 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 first of the National Dialogue on Highway Automation meetings hosted by the Federal Highway Administration is taking place this week in Philadelphia. National Workshop 1: Policy and Planning, is taking place June 26-27; four more on different aspects of automation are set for later this year in other cities.

The agency notes that automated vehicles could significantly transform the nation's roadways and offer potential safety benefits, but also they introduce uncertainty for the agencies responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the roadway infrastructure.

The agency is opening 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 meetings are to facilitate information sharing, identify key issues, and support the transportation community to safely and efficiently integrate automated vehicles into the road network.

The events will address these focus areas:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Freight: Explores truck platooning applications and truck automation, as well as implications for traffic operations and infrastructure.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The remaining events are set for Aug. 1-2 in Seattle, early September in Chicago, Oct. 24-25 in Phoenix, and the week of Nov. 12 in Austin, Texas (this is the meeting focused on infrastructure design and safety.

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