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.


Future of roadway safety industry, automated vehicle technology discussed in ATSSA member visit

Future of roadway safety industry, automated vehicle technology discussed in ATSSA member visit

Mercer Strategic Alliance President Rob Dingess discusses AVs and the future of the industry

Rob Dingess, president of the Mercer Strategic Alliance, came to ATSSA headquarters to discuss automated and connected vehicle technology, and what it means for the association and the future of the roadway safety industry.

Dingess spoke about the levels of automation that will take place as the technology evolves, the existing technology related to connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and automated vehicles (AVs), as well as the challenges and opportunities they provide to ATSSA and our member companies.

“We’re going to have to have the ability to communicate effectively with these new systems that are highly evolving, constantly changing, and so if you’re an ATSSA member company and you’re involved in anything related to traffic control devices, you have to ask yourself if you’re prepared for what’s coming,” said Dingess.

Several automotive companies have been working on the next wave of AV technology, and by 2025 the market for partially autonomous vehicles is expected to reach $36 billion, and the autonomous vehicles market is expected to reach $6 billion.

He spoke about how companies developing CAV and AV technology will intersect with companies that work in roadway signs, pavement markings, traffic control devices, and work zones. Dingess encourages ATSSA members to become more involved in the association’s technical committees to learn what they’re working on, and to get prepared for the future of the roadway safety industry.

“Preparation means what they’re doing about pavement markings, what are they doing about having work zones that can communicate with automated vehicle systems, what about traffic signals,” said Dingess.

Dingess highlighted how important technology and ATSSA training will be to roadway workers, who will ultimately be interfacing with this incoming technology, as they adapt to working in work zones in an automated roadway environment.

“ATSSA has never been more important to its members than it is right now. We’re in a time of disruption in the industry and our members are going to need ATSSA to help them as the industry goes through this rapid change,” said Dingess.

Learn more from a video interview of Dingess with ATSSA's Director of Innovation & New Programs Brian Watson.

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