Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT)

Cooperative Automated Transportation

Roadway safety in a cooperative automated world

Highway automation is not years away, or even days away. It’s here now, causing a number of state transportation agencies to react with initiatives related to preparing and supporting Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs) on U.S. roadways.

Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs)

Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) deals with CAVs, which are vehicles capable of driving on their own with limited or no human involvement in navigation and control. Per the definition adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are six levels of automation (Levels 0-2: driver assistance and Levels 3-5: HAV), each of which requires its own specification and marketplace considerations.

Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) and Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs)

For traffic safety, vehicle-to-everything communications is the wireless exchange of critical safety and operational data between vehicles and anything else. The "X" could be roadway infrastructure, other vehicles, roadway workers or other safety and communication devices. ATSSA members are at the forefront of these technologies, and are working with stakeholders across new industries to see these innovations come to life.

Sensor Technology

CAVs rely on three main groups of sensors: camera, radar, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). The camera sensors capture moving objects and the outlines of roadway devices to get speed and distance data. Short- and long-range radar sensors work to detect traffic from the front and the back of CAVs. LIDAR systems produce three-dimensional images of both moving and stationary objects. 

For more information about ATSSA’s efforts on CAT and CAV’s and their interaction with our member products check out the resources below.


SuperUser Account

Big benefits come with Integrated Corridor Management

How transportation departments tackle congestion, delays, and crashes by utilizing roadway capacity

Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) initiatives are basic plans that connect roadway users, the road, and work zones and allow for effective communication. They are vital to advancing roadway safety and countering common challenges such as congestion, traffic delays, and crashes.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced a new national ICM initiative to address the increasing congestion and delays that were occurring across the country. The department reported that businesses were losing around $200 billion annually because freight vehicles were getting tied up in traffic congestion. Additionally, the U.S. DOT found motorists were wasting about 4 billion hours of their time from being stuck in traffic, and they were also wasting more than 2 billion gallons of fuel.

“Traffic congestion, delays, and crashes that result from back up queues are a serious problem that can be resolved or mitigated  with options on our highway systems that allow operators to dynamically shift travel demand,” said ATSSA Senior Technical Advisor Eric Perry. “Many state transportation departments have partnered with the U.S. DOT to implement Integrated Corridor Management programs and have included them in their Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMOs), which has proven to be effective at increasing safety on roadways via utilizing the full capacity of highways and offering alternate methods of travel.”

According to the U.S. DOT, there are several benefits of incorporating ICM initiatives to strategic and operational plans, including:
•    Optimizing current transportation within highway corridors;
•    Increasing the value of investments (i.e., time, money, and labor for more efficient roadways;
•    Allowing motorists to make better travel decisions;
•    Reducing incidents, travel time and delays, and fuel consumption; and
•    Increasing the predictability and reliability of travel times.

There are ongoing initiatives of many state and local transportation agencies, including the Pima County Department of Transportation (PCDOT) in Tucson, Arizona. Seth Chalmers, an engineer with the department, said PCDOT shifted more of its focus to developing TSMO strategies including ICM initiatives after the recession in 2007 to make better investments and make the county’s roadways more efficient for less cost.

“Some of the problems in our industry right now are we still are looking at these things in silos. We have a safety need over here. We have infrastructure or maintenance over there and capital improvement over here,” Chalmers said. “We’re working to make our transportation systems seamless—from the planning stages to ensuring they include multiple modes of transportation to make our roads more efficient for all roadways users.”

Other locations implementing ICM initiatives include Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Montgomery County, Maryland; Oakland, California, San Antonio, Texas, San Diego, California; and Seattle, Washington.

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