Connected Vehicle
Policy and Institutional Issues

The Connected Vehicle Policy program researches and analyzes critical policy and institutional issues that may limit or challenge successful deployment. The research supports the development and comparison of effective policy options; the analysis results in structured recommendations for policy and decision makers.

The vision for the Connected Vehicle Policy program is one of a collaborative effort among the Department, key industry stakeholders, vehicle manufacturers, state and local governments, representative associations, citizens, and others. Collectively, this group will structure and conduct a research agenda that weighs the benefits and risks and results in strong institutional foundation for the successful deployment of connected vehicle technologies and applications.

Research Overview

The Policy and Institutional Issues program for connected vehicles is established to identify, research, analyze, and present policy options to enable successful deployments of connected vehicles. It is a cross-cutting support program to a multi-modal research program led by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) within the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT’s) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The focus of connected vehicle research is to make surface transportation safer, smarter, and greener by leveraging the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology.

Policy issues fall into two categories: (a) those that are global and cross-cutting, and will be researched through the Policy program and (b) those that are specific to a program’s technical roadmap, and thus require research and resolution in tandem with the technical research staff and partners to ensure continued progress.

Technical Policy Research

In support of the technical research programs, the Policy and Institutional Issues program for connected vehicles is designed to: 1) identify the specific tradeoffs that occur along the path of research and development, prototyping, testing, and model deployments; and 2) to facilitate discussion among stakeholders and decision makers to enable continued progress in the technical research. One such example is the potential tradeoff between privacy and system security. For the technical team to move forward in designing a working prototype for testing, such “technical policy issues” require analysis.

The end result of the policy research and analysis is better clarity on policy options and their implications.

Research Goals

The goal of the Policy and Institutional Issues program is to structure a comprehensive research agenda that enables a successful and sustainable deployment of connected vehicle technologies by identifying and addressing policy and institutional issues and by delivering options for a solid policy foundation.

This goal will be obtained by:

  • Working closely with multimodal, technical research teams to identify policy and institutional issues that limit or challenge the successful deployment of connected vehicle technologies
  • Scoping the issues by engaging with stakeholders on the essence of the issue and eliciting their requirements (refining and adding details to each policy roadmap)
  • Engaging experts for analysis and to identify best practices within other industries (resulting in draft policy options)
  • Re-engaging decision makers and stakeholders for input on and validation of the draft options (leading to modifications to the options)
  • Presenting a final set of analyses, options, and implications in support of deployment.

Research Questions

The research focuses in part on the following policy questions:

  • Is any new policy action required to successfully launch and sustain connected vehicle technologies?
  • Are the options publicly acceptable?
  • What entities will potentially fund, own, and govern connected vehicle systems, components, and data?

Research Outcomes

Through a structured, comprehensive research and analysis agenda, the Policy and Institutional Issues program will consider needs across all of connected vehicle research to provide:

  • A range of viable options for policies that address legislative and regulatory decisions, governance structures and authorities, investment strategies, and resolutions to critical institutional issues related to deployment of connected vehicle technologies.
  • The combination of the options with basic concepts of operations to illustrate a set of feasible and detailed deployment scenarios for smart vehicles.
  • Policy analysis and options that will be presented for discussion.

At a technical level, the Policy and Institutional Issues program will work closely with connected vehicle research programs to deliver policy analysis and options specific to:

  • Safety: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I)
  • Mobility: Real-Time Data Capture Management and Dynamic Mobility Applications (DMA)
  • Environment: Applications for the Environment Real-time Information Synthesis (AERIS)
  • Adoption of connected vehicle technology by the trucking community
  • Adoption of connected vehicle technology by the transit community.

Research Approach

The objective of the Connected Vehicle Policy program is to identify critical issues that may hinder or present challenges to successful deployment of V2V/V2I technologies, applications, and systems. Policy issues and research fall into four categories:

  • Track 1: Implementation Policy Options: Analysis and development of a range of viable options for financial and investment strategies, analysis and comparisons of different communications systems for data delivery, model structures for governance with identified roles and responsibilities, and analysis in support of the Department’s 2013 decision which includes cost-benefit analysis, value proposition analysis, and market penetration analysis.
  • Track 2:  Technical Policy Options: Analysis of the program’s technical choices for V2V/V2I technologies and applications with the resulting analysis of whether those options require new institutional models or how/whether they can leverage existing assets and personnel.  The technical analysis will also result in policies related to the V2V/V2I Core System, an interface policy framework, and policies on the use of certification and standards.
  • Track 3:  Legal Policy Options: Analysis and policy options that support decisions on the Federal role and authority, liability and limitations to risk, policy and practices regarding privacy, and policies on intellectual property and data ownership within the connected vehicle environment, among other legal issues.

The research and analysis from these first three tracks result in a final track:

  • Track 4:  Implementation Strategies: With the final set of decisions within each area,  the chosen options will be combined into implementation scenarios and a further comparative analysis provided to stakeholders to ensure that the most effective strategy(ies) are available for implementation. The analysis will result in guidance for implementing entities that will need to understand the resources need for implementation, operations, and maintenance including the knowledge, skills, and ability of personnel.


Research Contacts

To learn more about this research, contact:

Valerie Briggs
Team Lead, Knowledge Transfer and Policy
ITS Joint Program Office
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
(202) 366-5015


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