Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News Release

Dec. 12, 2018

Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles releases recommendations to advance CAV technology

ST. PAUL, Minn. – To keep pace with the growing number of states that already have legislation for connected and automated vehicles and to ensure Minnesotans benefit from the technology, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles released a report today outlining recommendations to increase safety, enhance mobility options, expand the economy and maximize health and the environment.

The report is the result of Gov. Mark Dayton’s March 5, 2018, executive order, which established the advisory council and directed it to recommend changes to statutes, rules and policies based on stakeholder and public input. The report also recommends updating the Minnesota Data Practice Act to protect the personal data of people traveling in automated vehicles and develop security protocols to address cyber security risk.

Recommendations include passing legislation to authorize a pilot program for the safe testing of automated vehicles and a program for truck platooning, which allows two or more vehicles equipped with connected technology to travel in a convoy exempt from the following distance requirements. The report also recommends developing a public engagement plan to continue working with communities to help guide future CAV policy and hold CAV demonstrations to provide Minnesotans opportunities to learn how the technology can improve lives.

“If Minnesota doesn’t take any action to anticipate CAV technology, it will miss a critical opportunity to use technology for the benefit of Minnesotans and businesses,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, who co-chaired the advisory council with Chris Clark, Xcel Energy president-Minnesota. “Connected and automated vehicles have the potential to greatly expand mobility for all.”

“The way we get around town is evolving, with automation and connectivity becoming more available and affordable in personal and public vehicles,” said Clark. “Automated vehicles present tremendous opportunities for Minnesota when it comes to safety, equity, economic development and sustainability. This report is the result of great collaboration between public and private partners, and I look forward to continuing to work together to guide the future of connected and automated vehicles in Minnesota.”

The advisory council collaborated with communities experiencing transportation barriers, automotive industry, business, labor, technology companies, advocacy groups, local governments, insurance, public safety and educational institutions to make its recommendations.

Ten subcommittees representing public and private organizations studied different areas of policy, including transportation infrastructure; vehicle registration, driver training and licensing; accessibility; equity; revenue; traffic regulations and safety; economic development, business opportunity and workforce preparation; insurance and liability; cyber security and data privacy; and land use and planning.

The council also conducted public engagement through public surveys on these policy areas.

“We were the only state in the country that conducted these broad stakeholder meetings,” said Zelle. “In some cases, these meetings were with groups that transportation departments rarely have the opportunity to meet. From associations for the aging, civil rights groups, community elders and tribal executive directors, the council made an effort to hear representative voices of all Minnesotans.”

Based on stakeholder feedback, the advisory council developed six key themes:

  • Modernize Policy – Proactively engage in modernizing state law and policies for rapidly evolving technology and changing infrastructure need.
  • Equity – Support a people-first, multimodal transportation system by prioritizing mobility strategies that address accessibility, equity, environmental sustainability and public health.
  • Proactive Leadership and Public Engagement – Continue and expand the Interagency Connected and Automated Vehicles Team; continue stakeholder groups and public engagement to ensure Minnesotans have a voice in formulating statewide policy; establish a future transportation mobility executive committee to continue work of the advisory council and guide statewide policy.
  • Public Education and Outreach – Provide educational opportunities for the public to experience the technology through demonstrations, and offer feedback.
  • Funding – Invest in research and pilot projects, including projects to engage the public; invest in fiber optics and broadband communications and other technologies such as signal system modernization, smart signage and vehicle electrification.
  • Partnerships – Support public-private collaborative efforts to shape national standards and policies, share best practices and identify infrastructure needs.

The report, including the full list of recommendations, can be found online at MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle website.