Research Archive

Research Plan Research Progress and Insights

Successful implementation of a connected transportation system must address the inherent risks to consumer safety, security, and privacy. With national interoperability comes the opportunity to establish national standards and criteria for certification of individual products that have access to the system, system processes, and operational procedures. Since this is a new high-risk industry without an established consumer base, the US DOT will work with industry to develop certification processes and procedures independently. The ultimate form that a certifying entity would take, and the potential role of the Federal Government in oversight and enforcement of requirements, is yet to be determined and will be investigated as part of both the technical and policy research programs.

Research Tracks

Certification research will primarily be focused on understanding the interoperability needs for device compliance, systems security, and privacy. The US DOT will conduct the following research activities in support of certification:

  • Track 1: Policy Research Related to Certification: The US DOT will establish a forum for solving policy-related issues, including a determination of what is to be certified, the entity that will be responsible for certification, and the parties that will need to obtain certification.  The Policy and Institutional Issues research program will involve industry and Federal, State, and local government stakeholders to provide input.
  • Track 2: Technical Requirements for Certification: The level of components within devices, or which interfaces need to be certified will be defined.  Additionally, how this certification is to be accomplished will be determined. It is envisioned that the responsibility for work in this area will be shared by Government and industry.  However, Government will have a primary role in funding development prior to the emergence of a consumer market for certified products.  In that sense, the Government will serve as an enabler and coordinator of this function.
  • Track 3: Implementation Support and Oversight: A third party entity is expected to conduct implementation of the planned certification process.  The implementation process will include development of test tools and methods. The Federal Government may have a role in assisting with start-up, and in overseeing operation and adherence to standards. This implies an ongoing operational role for the Federal Government beyond the scope of this research.

It is critical that certification research milestones match related milestones in the other program roadmaps. For instance, a 2013 milestone for potential rulemaking on equipment requirements in vehicles must be matched by a similar milestone to have certification requirements and processes established in time for implementation of the rule.

Research Goals:

  • To work with industry to define certification needs and to develop supporting test methods and tools.
  • To develop a future plan that will make certification activities self-sustaining through fees for testing; development of new requirements and test methods will be shaped by the organizations seeking those requirements.

Research Outcomes:

  • Nationwide interoperability of system components.
  • Reduction of inherent risks to consumer safety, security, and privacy in the event of a whole or partial system breakdown.
  • Establishment of an oversight structure (governance structure) that will provide the processes and procedures for system access as well as system enforcement.