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Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are self-driving vehicles equipped with sensors aided by laser-guided Lidar and radar to enable breaking and lane changing decisions without driver involvement. They can also be supported by new technologies in transportation infrastructure such as transponders that send navigational information. All over the world, autonomous vehicles are being created and tested, creating a need for cities to think and plan for this emerging technology.
The State of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is recognizing the need to plan for connected autonomous vehicles, keep up to date on industry trends and prepare Louisiana for the future. Thus, they are engaging with Arcadis and partners including California-based Iteris, Inc. and Texas-based Alliance Transportation Group Inc. to provide technical support services and facilitate planning activities related to connected and autonomous vehicles and their impact on highway infrastructure.
The project will develop the implementation plan for connected and autonomous vehicles with Louisiana DOTD and performing intelligent transport systems architectures and system engineering analysis for connected and autonomous vehicles. It will incorporate the needs of commuters, freight delivery from ports, interstate drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers throughout the state. Strategies and plans such as this aid state departments of transportation in creating safer roadways for the future while synchronizing existing and new infrastructure with connected and autonomous vehicles.
As part of the project, Arcadis will analyze emerging technologies in roadway infrastructure. For instance, cars, trucks and tractor trailers are expected to be manufactured with new connected technologies that allow them to instantaneously “talk” to one another as well as communicate with roadway infrastructure to alert drivers quickly to upcoming traffic hazards. Using vehicle-to-vehicle communications and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) frequencies, connected vehicles traveling on specially equipped roadways can help save lives like previous automobile safety innovations such as air bags and seat belts. In fact, the National Highway Transportation Safety Alliance estimates that connected cars could reduce collisions by 80 percent for non-impaired operators.