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10 CONCLUSIONS Public policy making can be challenging within a dynamic and uncertain technological landscape. The private market is highly competitive, and objective information upon which policy can be based is largely unavailable from the developers of this transforma- tional technology. Many OEMs have made bold claims as to their timeframe for making Level 4 AV technolo- gy available in new models in the years leading up to 2021*. The timeframe for bringing Level 5 automation technology to market is hard to forecast; however, sev- eral studies estimate that Level 5 cars will be available on public roads in the late 2020s**. At the same time, the federal government has played a significant role in sup- porting the research, development, and piloting of CV technology. The USDOT Connected Vehicle Pilot Program has examined multiple modes of wireless communication and has continued demonstrations to position Dedicated Short- Range Communications (DSRC)-based CV technology for large-scale deployment. Significant research and standardization has gone into the development of CV technology, specifically related to DSRC. But some companies are developing V2X equipment that uses other forms of wireless communications, including cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. In spite of uncertainties, the transformational nature of AV and CV technologies argues that public agencies should consider the strategies and possible outcomes to manage public interest concerns. *Korosec, K. 2015. Elon Musk Says Tesla Vehicles Will Drive Themselves in Two Years. Fortune. **Cellan-Jones, R. 2015. Toyota Promises Driverless Cars on Roads by 2020. BBC News; Volvo. 2016. AutopilotâTrav- el Calmer, Safer, Cleaner. http://www.volvocars.com/au/about/innovations/intellisafe/autopilot Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com
11 In spite of uncertainties, the transformational nature of AV and CV technologies argues that public agencies should consider the strategies and possible outcomes to manage public interest concerns. The strategies provided through this research offer considerations for public agency decision makers using the best informa- tion available at the time. Technology direction may change, consumers may not adopt certain products, and any number of global economic or environmental drivers could alter the policy course. For state and local transportation agencies, the impacts of AV or CV technologies on their organizations may be highly disruptive and generate a range of uncer- tainties unique to public agencies: Institutional: Institutional impacts affect a transportation agencyâs focus and organizational structure. This includes how an agency prioritizes its responsibil- ities and allocates its funding. Proliferation of AVs and CVs could increase trans- portation agenciesâ focus on non-safety goals, increase responsibility for data integrity, security, privacy, and analytics, and increase reliance on private-sector relationships where agencies lack funding or expertise. Operational: These are impacts on how an agency develops, maintains, op- erates, and manages transportation infrastructure and transportation-related services. Proliferation of AV and CV technologies could cause existing intelligent transportation system investments to become outdated, reduce or shift de- mand for transit and parking services, and increase maintenance requirements. It is uncertain whether the technologies will mitigate or exacerbate current roadway capacity deficits. Funding and financing: These are impacts to the funding and financing sourc- es available for transportation infrastructure and related services. AV and CV systems could exacerbate funding deficits through increased costs for maintain- ing and operating roadways. AVs deployed with alternative fuel technologies, such as electricity, would reduce revenues from fuel-based taxes. A proliferation of shared AVs could reduce the amount of revenue from driver licensing, vehicle sales tax, vehicle registration, moving violations, transit fares, and federal fund- ing associated with ridership levels. Conversely, CV technology could potentially increase revenue from road-user charges by providing a technology platform that supports usage-based revenue measurement and reporting. Ultimately, public policy making for AVs and CVs will be informed through a cycle of learning and leveraging the activities of early-adopter agencies that support testing, evaluation, research, and continuous knowledge creation. Agencies can create a nimble policy-making framework that espouses these principles and sets in place a continual âlook aheadâ assessment.