Learn about our study on connected and autonomous vehicles (cav)
Central Florida needs to get ready for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on public roads. MetroPlan Orlando’s CAV Readiness Study is evaluating what this technology may mean for the region’s roads and transit agencies. We looked at what other regions are doing well, and how ready we are to respond.
MetroPlan Orlando recently concluded the third task of its Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Readiness Study with the completion of three public workshops held in the three counties – Orange, Osceola and Seminole – where MetroPlan Orlando leads regional transportation planning efforts.
The following public involvement goals for informing stakeholders about CAVs were met:
• Increasing awareness of MetroPlan Orlando’s role to prepare Central Florida for the arrival of CAVs on public roads
• Communicate how CAVs will impact local and regional transportation planning efforts
• Identify opportunities for public and private sector relationship building.
As attendees entered workshop locations in Orlando, Lake Mary and Kissimmee, display boards told the story of why the CAV Readiness Study is needed; defined differentiators between connected vehicles (CV), automated vehicles (AV) and CAVs; presented study findings; and showed anticipated CAV impacts on future urban development. Attendees also had the opportunity to take a 10-question survey asking their opinions about riding in CAVs, safety, policy concerns and how they think CAVs could impact their surroundings.
Eric Hill, MetroPlan Orlando’s Director of Transportation System Management & Operations, delivered a formal presentation at each workshop that concluded with opportunities for attendees to ask questions and comment. Attendees with smartphones were provided access to a live polling website which produced results in real time that MetroPlan displayed on the presentation screen.
Attendees at all three workshops consistently showed an understanding and favorable opinion of CAV concepts. However, attendees had safety, privacy and data security concerns, along with believing that vehicle technology development, workforce training and data storage will be the biggest challenges in the region as CAVs emerge on public roads. Attendees also agreed that future planning opportunities include prioritizing funding to educate the public and forming a cross-agency consortium to share knowledge and make recommendations about future CAV testing and deployments.
MetroPlan Orlando will use information gathered during the three workshops to develop CAV preparedness recommendations provided as short-term (2-3 years) or mid-term (4-8 years) concepts and plans. The recommendations will be integrated in the longer-term 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). MetroPlan Orlando will deliver a final public presentation to the region’s leaders that provides a summary of the study methodology, findings and recommendations.
Evaluation of Local Existing Capabilities Technical Memorandum
MetroPlan Orlando has completed an Evaluation of Local Existing Capabilities technical memorandum which provides a review of existing connected vehicle (CV) and automated vehicle (AV) infrastructure and practices in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. The memorandum also compiles a list of current connected and automated vehicle (CAV) projects in the region.
MetroPlan Orlando interviewed transportation engineers, managers and planners at 22 partner agencies within its planning area about roadway infrastructure, staffing proficiency, system and network capabilities, potential CAV testing locations, training plans and possible equity challenges in CAV testing and implementation.
From these interviews, MetroPlan Orlando determined the current state of CAV readiness and developed several options to consider for achieving an improved state of readiness.
1) Roadway infrastructure: Develop a region-wide CAV consortium to create a central group for networking and collaborating on equipment, software, testing and deployment best practices. Several jurisdictions have identified potential locations for near-term, mid-term and long-term CAV testing. The CAV consortium would help to advance near and mid-term CAV testing locations and provide feedback.
2) Staffing proficiency: Develop a region-wide CAV training program for testing, equipment, software and deployment. The consensus among agencies within MetroPlan Orlando’s planning area is to identify necessary training for expanding workforce knowledge of CAV systems, and provide regional training to ensure interoperability and consistency when deploying CAV systems.
3) System and network capabilities: All partner jurisdictions should move to the use of fiber-optic cable networks within the next five years to enable consistent communication and testing grounds for region-wide CAV deployments.
Ensuring equity for residents and visitors within each jurisdiction will be critical to the success of CAV implementation and deployment across the MetroPlan planning area. Agencies must work together to ensure that all community sectors have equal access to the benefits of CAV technologies. According to FDOT District 5, CAV implementation could lead to further stratification of existing trip types, the balancing of trip chaining and directing subsidies to balance CAV benefits. Cross-regional collaboration will be important for ensuring that CAV testing and implementation is effective, and to avoid duplicate efforts.
You can review the Evaluation of Local Existing Capabilities Technical Memorandum below for further details.
CAV Readiness Study Overview
MetroPlan Orlando has commissioned a study to assess the readiness for arrival and integration of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) on public roads in Central Florida.
A connected vehicle (CV) utilizes wireless communications, such as dedicated short range communications (DSRC), cellular, WiFi and satellite to exchange information with nearby vehicles, the roadside infrastructure, and mobile handheld devices.
An automated vehicle (AV) uses sensors such as cameras, radar, lidar, and infrared. These provide information to one or more driving systems such as steering, braking, adaptive speed control, and parking assistance for handling dynamic driving tasks without direct input by a human driver.
CVs can have automated capabilities, but AVs are not necessarily connected to other things.
CAVs combine CV and AV capabilities so that the potential safety benefits of fully automated driving systems can be realized.
In the not-too-distant future, CAVs will be in use on shared public roads throughout Central Florida. Before this happens, there will be many challenges to overcome to prepare the region for their introduction and adoption.
The CAV Readiness Study will review best practices in the CAV industry, evaluate existing local CAV capabilities in Central Florida, engage the public to increase CAV awareness and seek their input, present findings from these activities to MetroPlan Orlando committees, and document short-term and mid-term recommendations for CAV preparedness in a final report to be distributed to leaders in the region.
The study findings and recommendations will provide a knowledge base for MetroPlan Orlando to increase its planning expertise and prepare Central Florida for the integration of CAV technologies into the region’s transportation system.
MetroPlan Orlando leads transportation planning in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties by working and collaborating with elected officials, transportation industry experts and the public to help shape the future of the transportation system that serves the residents and visitors in the Central Florida region. MetroPlan Orlando also sets priorities and determines how federal and state transportation dollars are spent in the region.
During the CAV Readiness Study, MetroPlan Orlando will engage with the public and key stakeholders in each of the three counties to create awareness of innovative CAV technologies, provide opportunities to comment, and seek input for developing recommendations for CAV preparedness.
What’s Happened So Far
MetroPlan Orlando has completed a CAV Industry Best Practices Review technical memorandum. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the CAV industry in the MetroPlan Orlando Planning area, the state of Florida, and nationwide.
The purpose of the review is to gather information about CAV pilot projects and planning efforts implemented locally and elsewhere to provide base findings that can be applied in Central Florida.
Best practice topics explored in depth include:
• CAV definitions, terminology and standards
• Required supporting infrastructure
• Analysis of data elements
• Current and past CAV pilots and planning efforts
• Assessment of national research efforts
The memorandum also includes an overview of planned and current CAV pilot deployments in Florida to identify lessons learned and best practices relevant to MetroPlan Orlando’s planning area, including the SunTrax AV test bed in Polk County, Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) CV Pilot in Tampa, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 5 CV Pilot on State Road 434 in Seminole County, and automated shuttle deployments planned for Gainesville, Jacksonville and Orlando.
As CAV technologies continue to improve, the timeline for CAV introduction and adoption will be impacted by the readiness of the technology and also by the readiness of the regulatory environment and receptiveness of overall public sentiment. MetroPlan Orlando has the opportunity to share best practices from other regions and agencies and build planning expertise that goes beyond technology development and assessment.
Based on lessons learned, there is a need to balance early CAV deployment projects that are feasible, projects that respond to a local need, and projects that demonstrate an agency or region is innovative. There also are several short- and long-term opportunities to introduce CAV technologies that can be further explored to inform the decision-making process and match local needs and capabilities with emerging industry trends.
You can review the CAV Industry Best Practices Review Technical Memorandum below.
MetroPlan Orlando also hosted three CAV Readiness informational workshops, where we shared the study’s findings to date, answered questions, and got valuable input from the public. The workshops were located in each of the three regional counties, Orange, Osceola and Seminole County. A presentation was given by Eric Hill and people were given the opportunity to ask questions about the CAV study and offer helpful feedback about ways to prepare Central Florida for connected and automated vehicles.
From information gathered during the three public involvement workshops, MetroPlan Orlando will develop a third technical memorandum with CAV preparedness recommendations provided as short-term (2-3 years) or mid-term (4-8 years) concepts and plans. These could take many different forms, including recommendations to the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), TSMO and ITS standards, data collection and management framework, workforce development needs and roadway standards, as well as new policies and CAV pilot projects.
Next, MetroPlan Orlando will deliver presentations summarizing the findings from the public involvement workshops and final technical memorandum to its committees and board.
A final public presentation by MetroPlan Orlando will provide a summary of the methodology and findings from the technical memorandums, public involvement workshops and recommended CAV preparedness short- and mid-term concepts and plans.
MetroPlan Orlando will conclude the study with a final report to the region’s leaders that will communicate recommendations from the study and include all three task memorandums, results from the three public involvement workshops, and input gathered during presentations to MetroPlan Orlando’s board and committees, as well as the final public meeting.
Have a question or comment?
MetroPlan Orlando understands that involving the public is a critical part of the process for planning the future transportation needs of all constituents in the Central Florida region.
If you have a question or want to provide comments about the future integration of connected and automated vehicles (CAV) on public roadways in Central Florida, please email Eric Hill at ehill@MetroPlanOrlando.org.