NCHRP report presents and evaluates 18 different strategies for agencies to encourage CAV adoption.
The report sorts strategies into four different categories and discusses the strengths, weaknesses, and likely outcomes of each.
Made Public Date


United States

Advancing Automated and Connected Vehicles: Policy and Planning Strategies for State and Local Transportation Agencies


Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) are rapidly being developed and introduced into the transportation market. They are expected to significantly effect the way that people and goods travel. However, the rapid pace of this technological development means that many agencies have yet to fully formulate their policies and plans to accommodate the new paradigm CAVs represent. A report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) assesses policy and planning strategies at the local, state, and regional levels to help agencies understand how to maximize the positive social benefit of CAV technologies.
Because market activities may not necessarily distribute goods and services with complete equity or efficiency, public agencies should be alert to when certain groups' interests and needs are not being met, and respond accordingly. There are many mechanisms that can be used to align public and private interests. The NCHRP report identified and evaluated 18 practices that can be implemented by state and local governments, here presented organized by four different desired outcomes: safety, adoption, clarity of legal issues, and mitigating congestion.

Lessons Learned

Outcome: mitigate safety risks through testing, training, and public education.

  • Enact legislation to legalize AV testing: Legislation will provide a necessary policy framework to allow AV testing on public roads. Testing is a critical path step for mitigating safety risks.
  • Enact legislation to stimulate CV or AV testing: Legislation will provide a necessary policy framework to stimulate others to test CAVs on public roads. Direct funding may be needed to stimulate CV testing.
  • Modify driver training standards and curricula: Driver training standards and curricula will be essential to safe operation of CAVs. There is not yet enough clarity on the specifics of CAV roll-out to determine whether or how licensing requirements for AV Level 3, 4, and 5 vehicles will need to change.
  • Increase public awareness of benefits and risks: CAV technologies have the potential to bring immense societal benefits but also pose new risks, both of which need to be made known to the general public to ensure market acceptance as well as safe operation. Public education campaigns are complicated and expensive but have the potential to be very effective.

Outcome: encourage Shared AV (SAV) use.

  • Subsidize SAV use: A strategy that incentivizes SAVs to provide first/last-mile service and service for targeted populations could be particularly effective in achieving positive societal outcomes.
  • Implement transit benefits for SAVs: This economic incentive, assisting employees in paying for transit or vanpool fees, could be more effective with an SAV fleet than traditional transit because of the flexibility in origins and destinations served, but service characteristics would still be important. The key challenge of this strategy is regulatory.
  • Implement a parking cash-out strategy: While parking cash-out, which allows employees to choose between a parking spot and a cash payment, has been fairly successful where adopted, its success depends on the availability of commute alternatives.
  • Implement LEMs: Price is undoubtedly an important component of home buying decisions, but there is not much evidence that Location-Efficient Mortgages, which are special mortgages for homeowners whose properties are close to transit stations, make a major difference. This solution is thus of relatively low urgency.
  • Implement land use policies and parking requirements: The likelihood that such policies will generate a large shift to SAV use must be compared to existing efforts to promote shared mobility. These examples, though they cannot totally ensure that developers will provide for the best use, show signs of success where they do exist.
  • Apply road use pricing: Road use charges have been effective in achieving specific objectives related to minimizing the negative impacts of driving, but they are very unpopular.

Outcome: address liability issues that may impact market development.

  • Implement a no-fault insurance approach: A state-level no-fault automobile insurance approach would likely accomplish goals of clarifying assignment of liability and, depending on the statutory language, reducing or eliminating manufacturer liability.
  • Require motorists to carry more insurance: Raising mandatory insurance minimums would very likely produce a net-positive socially beneficial outcome. Without enforcement, the strategy may as an unintended consequence increase the incidence of consumers not purchasing any insurance.

Outcome: enhance safety, congestion, and air quality benefits by influencing market demand.

  • Subsidize CVs: If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires DSRC/CV equipment on new vehicles, then the incentives would be needed to retrofit existing vehicles.
  • Invest in CV infrastructure: This strategy encourages the adoption and penetration of CAV technology by ensuring that necessary infrastructure in place. However, it is unclear whether the benefits of increased funding for CV infrastructure will be greater than the costs. Some evidence of ROI is needed.
  • Grant AVs and CVs priority access to dedicated lanes: For minimal cost, the societal benefits of fast and safe travel on dedicated lanes for CAVs are very large. However, implementation will require the right situation, and depend to some extent on how well the supply of SAVs matches demand, for instance.
  • Grant signal priority to CVs: It is unlikely that this policy will be the driving force to increase market penetration because the travel time benefits will be minimal. Its interaction with Transit Signal Priority (TSP) must also be examined.
  • Grant parking access to AVs and CVs: Priority parking likely will have zero effect on the market penetration of CAVs. Instead, the ability of a CAV to park itself would likely be more of a market incentive.
  • Implement new contractual mechanisms with private-sector providers: Public-private partnership arrangements have a long history of creating net-positive benefits to society, so this strategy would likely have similar outcomes, facilitating adoption and market penetration and encouraging an ecosystem of innovation. However, they are typically relatively expensive mechanisms and would require a revenue stream to support the marketplace first.

Advancing Automated and Connected Vehicles: Policy and Planning Strategies for State and Local Transportation Agencies

Advancing Automated and Connected Vehicles: Policy and Planning Strategies for State and Local Transportation Agencies
Publication Sort Date
Zmud, J.; G. Goodin; M. Moran; N. Kalra; and E. Thorn
National Cooperative Highway Reserach Program (NCHRP)

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System Engineering Elements

Focus Areas Taxonomy: