An Integrated Look at Automated Vehicles

Resources and Tools

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies are rapidly moving from research to reality. Many vehicles already have automated driving systems (ADS) designed to help save lives and prevent injuries, and this technology may lead soon to self-driving vehicles on the road.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is preparing for these rapid changes in CAV technology by engaging with federal, state, and local organizations – and the private sector – to realize the life-saving benefits of CAV technology. MDOT recognizes the safety, mobility, and efficiency benefits of ADS, and is embracing opportunities of collaboration for research, testing and eventual deployment.

MDOT established the Maryland Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group in 2015 as the central point of coordination for the development and deployment of CAV technologies in Maryland. Members include law enforcement, traffic safety specialists, planners, engineers, insurance representatives, economic development organizations, members of regional, state and local government agencies, and many others. The group is charged with reviewing existing laws, policies, and programs, as well as the latest research about CAV and is coordinating with the agencies, organizations, and businesses that will set the future of CAVs in Maryland.

The MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration has been designated as the lead state agency for CAVs, and through a robust coordinated effort with all of MDOT and via the CAV Working Group, has created a one-stop shop point of entry for all entities interested in CAV in Maryland—a starting point that opens the door to all of the relevant public-sector agencies that need to be engaged.

For more information, visit the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle web site ( Both MDOT State Highway Administration and Maryland Transportation Authority have completed a Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Strategic Action Plan, which you can find on the MarylandCAV page.

The land use impacts of CAVs are not yet known or understood. As the technology draws nearer, local comprehensive plans will need to address the changes CAVs may have on street design and parking, zoning codes, as well as on other modes of transportation, including transit, bicycles, and pedestrian facilities.  Several metropolitan planning organizations (MPO), states and local governments are considering these changes in their comprehensive or transportation plans. The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO), an MPO for New Castle County, Delaware and Cecil County, Maryland, has included the following wording in their Long-Range Transportation Plan:

  • Consider a connected and autonomous vehicle future in all WILMAPCO studies.
  • Support autonomous vehicle preparation and testing.
  • Fund infrastructure to support use of our regional transportation network by connected and autonomous vehicles.

Similarly, the District of Columbia is considering an amendment to its comprehensive plan on CAVs. You can learn more about the amendment at the city’s Policy Center.

The American Planning Association has completed several recent reports on the topic.  These include:

  • “Autonomous Vehicles: Planning for Impacts on Cities and Regions,” a general overview on how CAVs may affect cities and regions;
  • “Preparing Communities for Autonomous Vehicles,” a detailed review of CAV effects including design;
  • “Principles for Autonomous Vehicle Policy,” an overview of CAV policy principles; and
  • “Planning for Autonomous Mobility (PAS 592), Executive Summary,” a new report that provides basic knowledge and policy recommendations in planning for CAVs.

Planning heard quite a bit about CAVs during the first round of A Better Maryland listening sessions and understands the successful preparation for their arrival will be a multidisciplinary, statewide effort. As more information is known, Planning will provide updates on this issue.

2 thoughts on “An Integrated Look at Automated Vehicles

  1. Pingback: MDP Highlights Pending Land Use Challenges for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles | Conduit Street

  2. Pingback: Maryland Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group Update | Maryland Planning Blog

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