HAV Advisory Committee Projects
The Highly Automated Vehicle Advisory Committee identified four areas of focus.
- Public and Stakeholder Outreach
- Workforce Development
- Vehicle Code Revisions
- Supplementing Multimodal Services
Public and Stakeholder Outreach
With the advancement of Automated Driving Systems (ADS), both in consumer vehicles and test vehicles, public and stakeholder misunderstanding has become a frequent occurrence. This highlights the need for education to ensure that as these technologies continue to advance and enter the market, the technology is understood, correctly used, and ultimately creates a safer transportation system.
- Outreach Surveys – PennDOT plans to produce and distribute both a public and municipal government survey. The public survey will be limited to Pennsylvania citizens and attempt to identify the public’s perception of automated vehicles including expectation, and concerns related to automated vehicles. The municipal government survey will attempt to gather information on existing executive orders/ordinances, initiatives, and public engagement related to automated vehicles.
- Statewide Communications and Engagement Plan – PennDOT will lead the development of a statewide communications and engagement plan. The plan will establish a framework for educating the public, policymakers, and key stakeholders on the current state of technology and potential expectations for the future. The plan will not advocate for any technology or public policies, but rather identify the level of education and awareness needed for all parties to be able to make informed decisions.
As with all emerging technologies, automated vehicles will have implications on Pennsylvania’s workforce. In all likelihood, this technology will displace workers and create job loss in certain areas. However, this technology will also create new sectors and career paths that do not exist today. It is important that Pennsylvania understands the impacts and takes the appropriate steps to prepare our workforce education, training, and career transitioning.
- Pilot Workforce Development Plan – Knowing the broad impact vehicle automation will have on Pennsylvania’s workforce, the Advisory Committee has decided to conduct an initial examination of one to two careers, automotive technicians and/or commercial truck drivers. Both of these careers are being impacted by the introduction of Advanced DriverAssistance Systems (ADAS) and these impacts will only grow with the deployment of highly automated vehicles.
Vehicle Code Revisions
When Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes was created, automated vehicles were never a consideration. It was always assumed a licensed driver would be in physical control of the vehicle. Currently, automated vehicle testing in Pennsylvania is being conducted with a licensed driver seated in the driver’s seat with the ability to intervene in situations where the ADS experiences a system interruption or other problem rendering the ADS unable to safely perform the dynamic driving task. However, as technology progresses, Pennsylvania will have to clarify and revise Title 75 to allow for fully automated vehicles.
- Vehicle Code Assessment – PennDOT will lead a legal assessment of Title 75 to identify implications and areas of concern related to the deployment of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 5 fully automated vehicles. PennDOT will also examine potential solutions including systematic changes or the development of new chapters.
Supplementing Multimodal Services
Automated vehicles offer a unique opportunity to supplement and enhance existing multimodal services. However, this technology is not a one size fits all solution and it is important to conduct a thorough analysis to ensure the costs, both monetary and administrative, do not outweigh any potential benefits. In situations where it makes sense, automated vehicles could assist with offhour services, supplement services during peak demand, and provide a new connection between existing services.
- Platooning Public Transportation Vehicles Feasibility Study – With the passage of Act 117 of 2018, transit vehicles are permitted to platoon on highways in Pennsylvania. PennDOT will perform a study to determine if platooning transit vehicles can supplement existing intercity passenger rail in western Pennsylvania. As part of the study, PennDOT will determine the level of investment, document potential impacts to the region and existing services, evaluate ridership demand, and determine a returnoninvestment.