Resources and Tools
by Carole Delion, P.E., Division Chief, Connected & Automated Transportation Systems Division, MDOT SHA, with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) recognize that jurisdictions are seeking guidance on preparing, planning, and implementing practices and policies for Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) technologies, commonly referred to as autonomous or driverless vehicles.
In March 2020 and March 2021, statewide surveys were disseminated to jurisdictions across the state to learn what types and what levels of resources and engagement might help them make informed decisions about planning for and integrating CAV technologies into their communities.
The survey results led MDOT, with Planning’s support, to host outreach webinars in June 2021 that informed local agencies and professionals across the state about what CAV technology means, the survey findings, and available resources including the State’s first CAV Strategic Framework. This information will help jurisdictions better acquaint themselves and their communities with this potentially life-saving and mobility enhancing mode of transportation.
During the webinars, MDOT and Planning also released the CAV Toolkit for Maryland Local Jurisdictions. The toolkit includes a list of recommended actions as a resource for jurisdictions, who will play an integral role in achieving Maryland’s CAV vision.
The list of recommendations three categories of actions that jurisdictions may take: (1) baseline; (2) medium investment; and (3) high investment. Depending on the jurisdiction’s current roles and responsibilities, one or more of these may apply.3 Please review the CAV Toolkit for more information about these three categories. While the list is not comprehensive and is subject to change as CAV technologies advance and new regulations are implemented, the toolkit provides a solid foundation for jurisdictions to begin understanding how CAV technology may impact their communities.
As technologies evolve, the Maryland CAV Working Group will continue to provide a dedicated venue for Marylanders to discuss, learn about, and coordinate with state agencies (including MDOT and Planning), local jurisdictions, and non-profits so they are aware of CAV technologies as they are integrated into our communities.
1 CAV technologies can reduce instances of human error resulting in automobile crashes. Current levels of automation tested (Level 1) have already demonstrated a projected 7% to 78% reduction in the number of crashes. Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), Real-world Benefits of Crash Avoidance Technologies.
2 CAV technologies may enable people with vision or other physical disabilities to drive who could not otherwise operate automobile, Real-world Benefits of Crash Avoidance Technologies.
3 CAV Toolkit for Maryland Local Jurisdictions, pp. 3-12.