• Connected and Automated Vehicles

    Automated and connected vehicle technologies are among the most heavily researched automotive technologies. The vehicle technologies currently available are only a fraction of what is being developed for the future. The technologies for autonomous cars, connected cars, and advanced driver assistance systems overlap, below is an overview of the technologies, definitions, benefits and challenges of this emerging sector.

    Levels of Automation

    Fully automated, autonomous, or “self-driving” vehicles are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.” There have been multiple definitions for various levels of automation, for the sake of standardization, and to aid clarity and consistency, NHTSA has adopted the SAE International definitions for levels of automation. These definitions divide vehicles into levels based on “who does what, when.”

    Level 0
    Level 1
    Level 2
    Level 3
    Level 4
    Level 5

    These are DRIVER SUPPORT features

    These are AUTOMATED DRIVING features

    Driver Requirements You ARE Driving
    Even if your feet are off the pedals and you are not steering.
    You ARE NOT Driving
    Even if you are seated in the 'drivers' seat.
    These features: Provide warnings and momentary assistance. Provide steering OR brake/ acceleration support. Provide steering AND brake/ acceleration support. Can drive the vehicle under LIMITED conditions, and will not operate unless ALL required conditions are met. Can drive the vehicle under ALL conditions.
    Examples: - automatic emergency braking
    - blind spot warning
    - lane departure warning
    - lane centering
    - adaptive cruise control
    - lane centering
    - adaptive cruise control
    - traffic jam chauffer - local driverless taxi same as Level 4, but can drive everywhere in all conditions
    pedals/steering wheel may or may not be installed
    Source: SAE International

    Read more - NHTSA Automated Vehicles for Safety

    Connected Vehicles

    Connected vehicles are vehicles that use any of a number of different communication technologies to communicate with the driver, other cars on the road (vehicle-to-vehicle [V2V]), roadside infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I]), and the “Cloud” [V2C]. This technology can be used to not only improve vehicle safety, but also to improve vehicle efficiency and commute times. Listed below are the types of communicaton, with links to more information, and some of the benefits of connected vehicles:

    Read more - Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Publications



    In 2016, motor vehicle-related crashes on U.S. highways claimed 37,461 lives. US Dept of Transportation research shows that 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. Some of the benefits of connected and automated vehicles include:

    crash elimination

    Crash Elimination: Crash-free driving and improved vehicle safety, a vehicle can monitor the environment continuously, making up for lapses in driver attention.

    reduced infrastructure

    Reduced Need for New Infrastructure: By managing traffic flow, self-driving can reduce the need for building new infrastructure and reduce maintenance costs

    improved travel time

    Travel Time Dependability: V2V, V2C, and V2I can substantially reduce uncertainty in travel times via real-time, predictive assessment of travel times on all routes

    productivity improvements

    Productivity Improvements: A reduction in driving tasks will allow travelers to use travel time more productively

    energy efficiency

    Improved Energy Efficiency: Reduced energy consumption in at least three ways: more efficient driving; lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles; and efficient infrastructure

    new models of vehicle usage

    New Models for Vehicle Ownership: Self-driving vehicles could lead to a major redefinition of vehicle ownership and expand opportunities for vehicle sharing

    new business models

    New Business Models and Scenarios: Convergence of technologies may realign industries such that companies need to compete and collaborate at the same time

    Read more - NHTSA Automated Driving Systems



    Although adding connectivity to vehicles has its benefits, it also has challenges. By adding connectivity, there can be issues with security, privacy, and data analytics and aggregation due to the large volume of information being accessed and shared.

    The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) conducts research, development, and education activities to facilitate the adoption of intelligent vehicles, intelligent infrastructure, and the integration of an intelligent transportation system.

    The ITS Standards Program, established in 1996, develops standards based on open, non-proprietary technology, and fosters interoperable vehicle communication systems. Working with public and private organizations, companies, and agencies, the program has published 91 standards to accelerate connected vehicle development.

    Early examples of vehicle connectivity are GPS systems, General Motor’s OnStar, Ford’s Sync, and Chrysler’s Uconnect. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa are combining that earlier technology with lessons from the smart-phone industry to increase connectivity and integrate information across devices.

    Read more - Connected Vehicle Communication Standards

    The Road to Autonomous Vehicles Presentation - HI-TEC 2016 - A presentation by Bob Feldmaier, Director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, at the 2016 High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) discussing the following three questions: Why the interest in autonomous vehicles? How does the technology work? What are the remaining challenges?

    To learn more about automated and connected vehicle technologies, visit the Connected and Automated Vehicle Technology section of our Resource Library, or our Quick Links page.


    CAAT Seed Funded Programs

    Connected Vehicle Trade Association

    Connected Vehicle Trade AssociationThe CAAT is proud to be a member of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA), a non-profit business league established to facilitate the interaction, and advance the interests, of the entities involved in the vehicle communication environment. The Connected Vehicle Trade Association enables the collaboration of companies, organizations, and governmental bodies engaged in developing bidirectional vehicle communications. Membership is open to any corporation, public entities, standards and specification organizations and educational institutions.

    CVTA offers an annual summit on The Future of the Connected Vehicle. CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, attended the 9th annual CVTA Summit, held October 3-4, 2018, in Novi, MI, and presented a session on Creating the Educational Pipeline. See presentation #21 in the link above download the presentation from the CAAT’s free resource library.

    In addition, CVTA’s Connected Vehicle Professional™ (CVP) Credentialing Program offers a comprehensive education and certification curriculum collaboratively launched between SAE International (a CAAT partner), the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) and The Next Education. The CVP Credentialing Program helps professionals build a valuable skill set and increases professional credibility in the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Community. The CVP is a vendor-neutral credentialing program that signifies that an individual has the requisite foundational understanding necessary to perform tasks involving connected vehicle and intelligent transportation best practices, in-vehicle safety, infrastructure, communication protocols, security and more.

    Additional Information