Minnesota Department of Transportation

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State Aid for Local Transportation

Connected and Automated Vehicles

Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV)

This MnDOT State Aid CAV webpage is a resource to serve our local agency partners needs.

What is CAV?

image of an automated vehicle with the technology it uses to operateCAV stands for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV). CAV technologies include vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies, using wireless exchange of data to allow vehicles to communicate between one another and with the roadway infrastructure. CAV technology is a broad term that combines both CV (connected vehicle) and AV (automated vehicle) technology.

image of a connected vehicle communicating with traffic signals, signs, other vehicles, bikes, pedestriansConnected vehicles

Connected vehicles (CV) use technology to communicate with other vehicles, connect with traffic signals, signs, smartphones, devices and other roadway infrastructure, or obtain data from the cloud by supplying useful information to a driver or a vehicle much earlier to help the driver make safer and more informed decisions, providing additional time to
react and prevent an incident.

image of an automated vehicle with the technology it uses to operateAutomated vehicles

Automated vehicles (AV) use information from cameras, radar, lidar (image sensing), Global Positioning System (GPS), odometry, and computer vision to detect their surroundings. Once the environment has been scanned of obstacles and roadway infrastructure, the AV technology reacts as the situation dictates, to take control over some, or all, human driving tasks such as steering, accelerating, and braking with little to no human input. Different levels of driving automation ​have been defined by Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

Preparing for the future

As Minnesota cities and counties plan for their future transportation infrastructure investments, it is important to understand Minnesota’s needs of CAV technologies, their benefits, and how to prepare for CAVs in the short term of 5 to 10 years.

Minnesota is preparing for connected and automated vehicles by observing trends and advancements in vehicle automation, connected vehicle technology, and other supporting transportation technologies. MnDOT’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Office (CAV-X) is the convening office that supports CAV research, planning, policy, engineering and testing to anticipate and prepare for future transportation needs. MnDOT’s Office of CAV-X established a strategic approach from 60+ meetings with districts, offices, local governments, and other stakeholders with the following key themes:

  • Strategic investment: Make modest strategic investments, recognizing that CAV technology is in its infancy and will change quickly.
  • Innovation: Question assumptions, embrace new ideas and partners, and remain nimble to shifts in technology in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Knowledge-sharing: Be transparent with the public and share ideas and lessons learned with peer agencies and the industry at large.

The MnDOT CAV Strategic Plan helps the agency prepare for rapidly emerging changes in transportation. CAV-X collaborated with DOT staff, local government, and stakeholders to identify 65 short-, medium- and long-term strategies to help the agency plan for advancing technology and mobility trends and include the following MnDOT’s CAV Strategic Plan Goals:

  1. Safety – Support deployment of CAV technology to improve safety and achieve Toward Zero Death (TZD) goals
  2. Efficiency – Harness CAV technology to improve the efficiency of the transportation system for the movement of people, goods, and services
  3. Equity and Accessibility – Use CAV technology to improve transportation equity and accessibility for all Minnesotans
  4. Economic Benefits – Position Minnesota as a place to safely test and deploy CAV in order to accelerate public benefits and encourage workforce and economic development
  5. Trust and Understanding – Engage the public and other stakeholders to build trust and develop understanding of CAV
  6. Readiness – Support MnDOT in preparing the organization to proactively address changes in transportation technology
  7. Sustainability – Emphasize CAV technologies have the potential to promote environmental and fiscal sustainability

Benefits of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) technology

Connected Vehicle (CV) technology is all about supplying useful information to a driver or a vehicle much earlier to help the driver make safer and more informed decisions, providing additional time to react and prevent an incident.

Many newer vehicles include automated vehicle (AV) safety features that assist drivers in specific circumstances, such as keeping drivers from drifting out of our lane or helping drivers stop in time to avoid a crash or reduce its severity.

Considerations on how Local Public Agency partners can prepare for CAV

In April 2019, Governor Walz issued an executive order (PDF), appointing a Connected and Automated Vehicles Advisory Council to study, assess, and prepare for the opportunities, and challenges associated with the widespread adoption of CAV and other transportation technologies. The members serve from October 2019 to April 2023. The Governor’s Advisory Council released its annual report (PDF) describing Minnesota’s readiness for the technology and outlining the state’s major CAV efforts.

The Minnesota CAV Innovation Alliance is a broad statewide network to coordinate connected and automated vehicles activities in research, projects, planning, and policy to help the state plan and prepare for emerging technologies. The CAV Innovation Alliance has five committees and are requesting for local agency representatives from greater Minnesota. If interested, please contact Rashmi Brewer at rashmi.brewer@state.mn.us.

What more can you do?

  1. Connect with the CAV-X office regarding questions about policies or proposed legislation. Then, CAV-X can share information, connect to other state/local agencies who have previously done work in their respective areas, and serve as an overall resource.
  2. Share information on CAV related legislation with your Government Affairs leads and peers.
  3. Learn more about CAV technologies from MnDOT’s State Aid and CAV-X offices by requesting presentations.
  4. Keep up on CAV technology trends through the MnDOT Library CAV Bi-Weekly news alerts mndot.gov/library/stay-current.html.