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CAV technology and equity, access and mobility

Equity is a top priority for Minnesota

Minnesota is working to be a leader in planning for the future of transportation to ensure connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology is equitable, multimodal and provides solutions to increase access and mobility for all. Minnesota CAV partners follow MnDOT's definition of transportation equity in planning for CAV technology, which includes ensuring the benefits and burdens of transportation spending, services, and systems are fair, which historically have not been fair, and people- especially Black, Indigenous and People of Color- are empowered in transportation decision making. Historically, minority groups have shouldered more of the burden and less of the benefit. The Minnesota CAV Strategic Plan identified Equity and Accessibility as a primary goal for Minnesota's CAV program.

Meaningful engagement is critical as we plan for the future of transportation

CAV technology has the potential to improve equity, access and mobility of Minnesota's transportation system, but these benefits will only be realized if the people and communities historically underprioritized in transportation decision-making are engaged with meaningful opportunities to shape how CAV technology develops in Minnesota. Minnesota CAV partners are prioritizing engaging with traditionally underprioritized communities for demonstrations and other planning activities for connected and automated vehicles.

Development of connected and automated vehicle technology is already happening, led by private industry. To make sure the future of this technology meets the needs of all people in Minnesota, especially those who will be most impacted or with the potential to benefit most, it is important that government entities, advocacy organizations, research and individual people and communities join private industry in planning for CAV in Minnesota. As part of developing and testing CAV technology, Minnesota CAV partners include opportunities for people in Minnesota to learn about CAV and share their input.

CAV technology will help realize Minnesota's multimodal vision for transportation

Minnesota's vision for transportation in the state is a multimodal system that maximizes the health of people, the environment and our economy. CAV technology can help Minnesota realize this vision. Most connected and automated vehicles being developed today are also electric. The combination of these technologies has the potential to promote economic, environmental and human health through increased mobility, safety, and reduced emissions.

CAV technology has the potential to change transportation

CAV technology has the potential to fundamentally change transportation for drivers and passengers, and for the freight industry. Exactly how transportation will change is unknown and why Minnesota CAV partners are at the forefront of planning. Potential impacts of CAV technology include:

  • Less congestion.
  • Greater mobility for people with disabilities.
  • Fewer people owning vehicles and more shared transportation services.
  • Lower transportation costs.
  • More transportation options.
  • Shifting to electric vehicles.

CAV and electric vehicle technology have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

According to the Center for Automotive Research, CAV technology can help mitigate the environmental impacts of our transportation systems through smart-routing, self-parking, and eco driving-all of which have the potential to reduce tailpipe emissions (NOx, SOx, an CO2) and lower fuel consumption. The Center for Automotive Research also notes that CAV technology could have positive energy and environmental benefits due to the decreased life-cycle energy consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. As stated above, most connected and automated vehicles being developed today are also electric. Advancing CAV in Minnesota could help meet the state’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 30% by 2025, and 80% by 2050.

Minnesota is working to maximize the potential benefits of CAV technology

Minnesota is planning for CAV technology to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits it is projected to have and make sure that CAV works for everyone. The changes CAV technology will bring to transportation may lead to broader changes to the look and feel of Minnesota communities.

Why is CAV important?

Connected and automated vehicles have the potential to provide many benefits to Minnesota residents, businesses and visitors. Explore each section below to learn more about the potential benefits of CAV related to safety, equity, innovation and Minnesota’s economy.