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.


TRB – ATSSA Traffic Control Device Challenge wins award
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TRB – ATSSA Traffic Control Device Challenge wins award

The jointly sponsored Transportation Research Board (TRB) – ATSSA Traffic Control Device (TCD) Challenge has won recognition for its project partner, the Committee on Traffic Control Devices as a TRB “2018 Blue Ribbon Committee.” The TRB is part of the National Academy of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering.

The TCD Challenge, which was piloted for the first time in 2017, presents a “problem statement” regarding infrastructure safety devices to engineering students. ATSSA and the Committee on Traffic Control Devices promote the challenge to colleges and universities and select a first, second and third place winner. ATSSA awards a small cash prize and a trip to ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo to those winners who are able to interact with our members and exhibitors and learn first-hand about infrastructure safety.

The TRB award focused on the program’s effect on Community Building and Mentoring, making students more aware of the opportunities in transportation engineering, and in this case to solve real problems and save lives on our roadways. Only five of the numerous TRB committees received this award. ATSSA congratulates our partners on the Committee on Traffic Control Devices.

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