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.


ATSSA Board Member Cindy Williams testifies before Congress

Williams participates in hearing to address the rise in roadway fatalities

Today, Cindy Williams, president of Time Striping, president of the Arkansas ATSSA Chapter, and a member of the ATSSA Board of Directors, testified before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee in the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

The hearing, entitled “Addressing the Roadway Safety Crisis: Building Safer Roads for All,” focused on the recently released 2021 traffic fatality statistics, and countermeasures that can combat that increase.

“The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a critical component to achieving the goal of Towards Zero Deaths,” Williams said in her testimony. “Having a dedicated funding stream for roadway safety has been critical to addressing safety needs and continuing this program was a bipartisan priority for Congress and ATSSA.”

Discussion during the hearing also focused on rural road safety, something Williams said she understands well from her experience in Arkansas.

“As we look to improve roadway safety, we need to remember the rural areas of the country,” she said. “According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 19% of Americans live in rural areas, yet 43% of all roadway fatalities occur on rural roads.”

She noted that countermeasures such as cable barrier and high friction surface treatments (HFSTs) are successful in dramatically reducing roadway fatalities.

In his opening remarks, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said work zone safety needs to be an area of focus, and Williams agreed.

With more and more projects getting started as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), work zone safety will be even more important in the months and years ahead.

Williams discussed how connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology plays a role in safety and noted that it relies on ATSSA member devices such as pavement markings, traffic signs and signals, and smart work zones, among others.

In calling congressional attention to the pitfalls looming in the roadway safety marketplace, Williams informed the subcommittee about the significant impact inflation, material shortages and workforce shortages are playing and how those pressures will negatively impact roadway safety and the number of safety projects being finished.

Williams also implored Congress to not suspend the federal user fees that pay for transportation projects.

She noted that gas and diesel prices are hurting ATSSA member companies but also noted that it would be counterproductive to suspend the very user fee that pays for federal safety projects.

Williams closed her remarks by noting that the roadway safety infrastructure industry is committed to doing its part to help the nation reverse the trend of rising traffic fatalities.

“ATSSA members are ready to do what we do best--roll up our sleeves and get to work,” she said.

A recording of today's hearing is available for viewing. Williams' full testimony is here.

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