Taking a Position on Connected and Automated Vehicles

By Mr. Jeffrey Paniati P.E posted 06-04-2018 05:01 PM


The development and implementation of Connected and Automated (CV/AV) Vehicles holds the promise of increased safety on our roadways as we strive to achieve Vision Zero. Yet developing the technology at a rapid pace cannot come at the expense of that safety, as it appears could have been the case with the recent fatal crash involving a self-driving car in Arizona. With this in mind, ITE Leadership felt it was important for ITE to be visible on this issue. ITE staff worked with the Board of Direction to develop a position statement on the continued development, testing, and deployment of CV/AV.

The statement explains that ITE supports the advancement of technology in all areas of transportation and remains optimistic about the innovation and entrepreneurship that the private sector is bringing to the industry. ITE believes these new technologies have the potential to revolutionize transportation and save thousands of lives. However, it also highlights the importance of a strong government role to ensure that the deployment of CV/AV improves the quality of life for all citizens. Governments must provide the regulatory oversight to ensure that CV/AV testing is done in a transparent manner and that public safety is not compromised.

In addition, they can also play a key role in working with the private sector to facilitate deployment and remove regulatory barriers to widespread deployment of proven technologies. ITE feels that the private sector, working in concert with the government, has the responsibility to verify that new technologies have been fully tested in off-the-road environments before they are placed on public roads. To be clear, by fully tested, we mean that the appropriate set of simulations, simulator, and test track studies have been done to provide confidence that the technology is ready for on-the-road testing, development, and ultimately, deployment. 

ITE has identified six key tenets that underpin its position. These tenets are meant to provide a high-level framework for the development, testing, and deployment of CV/AV. If you have not already read the statement and the tenets, I encourage you to do so at https://bit.ly/2EAl2xz.

ITE recognizes that our position and these tenets must evolve as these technologies and the industry mature. ITE is interested in stimulating discussion among our members and within the larger transportation community on this topic and welcomes feedback. In fact, we have already made clarifying revisions based upon member feedback received after the statement’s initial release in April. I hope that the statement and tenets continue to spur a dialogue among our members and within our industry with regard to the proper balance between innovation and public safety.

As always, I welcome your feedback at jpaniati@ite.org, through ITE Community, and on Twitter at @JeffPaniatiITE.

This is taken from the June 2018 issue of ITE Journal.