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

ATSSA & TRB announce 2020 Traffic Control Device Student Challenge

Challenges offers opportunity for students to innovate for the future of roadway safety

The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50) have launched the 2020 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.

The TCD Student Challenge promotes innovation and stimulates ideas in the traffic control devices industry from future generations of roadway safety professionals. As part of the challenges, individuals or student teams submit solutions in the subject area of transportation and roadway safety, based on the chosen topic for the year.

This year’s topic is “Innovations for improving Work Zone Safety for Connected and Automated Vehicles.”

The TCD Student Challenge is open to high school, junior college, college, or university students or teams of students. All that is required in terms of technical expertise is an interest in transportation and safety, along with an understanding of traffic control devices.

“The TCD Student Challenge is a great way for students to learn more about transportation and use their creativity to come up with innovative solutions for roadway safety challenges that have the potential to save lives. Last year we had our first high school student team participate – they placed third – and we’re hoping to have additional high school teams submit innovations this year as well,” said ATSSA’s Director of New Programs Brian Watson.

The submittals encourage innovation and creative thought in the transportation community. Three winning teams will win a cash prize and have the opportunity to present their submissions at ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The deadline to submit an application is Oct. 1, 2019. To learn more about the challenge, visit

To learn more about the 2019 winners, visit

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