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Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide (2024)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
Page 11
Page 12
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
Page 12
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2024. Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27842.
×
Page 13

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6 Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management On April 3, 1860, the inaugural journey of the Pony Express left St. Joseph, Missouri, and delivered its first pouch of letters to Sacramento in 10 days. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested in the project, which took 186 stations and over 400 horses to connect California to the rest of the nation. However, this method of communication collapsed in just 18 months; it was made obsolete by the transcontinental telegraph. The challenge of anticipating and managing the risks that emerging and disruptive technolo- gies pose to transportation is not new. However, too often, technology catches practitioners by surprise, upending plans, hollowing out investments, and obstructing the achievement of critical transportation goals. Those most affected by the variable fortunes and uncertainties surrounding new transportation technologies are likely to be the investors in, operators of, and customers using these innovative modes. These groups will also be the principal drivers of change. Public transportation agencies have been charged with ensuring success in carrying out the mission of achieving good outcomes for the societal goals assigned to them: safety, mobility, sustainability, planning, and equity, among others. This compounds the problem of risk management for transportation agencies. Although regulatory and other connections intertwine agencies and agency planning and policies with decisions made by the private sector and the public, the trajectory of how various transportation modes evolve and how they will affect the mission goals of agencies is far from being under the control of those agencies. The risk management challenge for a transportation agency might therefore be somewhat less straightforward than for the owner and operator of a chemical plant or oil-refining facility. The inability to fully anticipate technological futures—to say nothing of the impact of those technologies on the societies that employ them is not a failure of due diligence. Rather, it is inherent in the enterprise of innovation. Decades of research and practice have produced a knowledge base that may be used to manage the risks posed by running an industrial plant and even, to some extent, those surrounding familiar transportation technologies. The goal of this report is to assist transportation agencies, both state DOTs and regional MPOs, in achieving a more resilient posture in managing risks that may arise from introduction and adoption of emerging and disruptive transportation technologies. Overview of Research Parameters This section describes the main parameters that govern the treatment of agency risk management. C H A P T E R   1

Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management 7   Two issues make use of standard risk management approaches difficult for transportation agencies facing emerging and disruptive technologies: (1) the difficulty of assessing the like- lihood of risk in the presence of the uncertainty surrounding technological innovations and (2) the heterogeneity of potential consequences given the range of agency goals. The research approach taken for these two issues is detailed in Appendix C. Key goals of this research are to • Develop a register of risks to state and local transportation agencies and their constituents posed by emerging technologies. • Recommend approaches agencies can use to prioritize those risks. • Identify policies and actions to address the risks along with the potential impacts of those policies and actions. • Focus on four examples of innovation in transportation: connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs), electric vehicles (EVs), mobility on demand/mobility as a service (MOD/MaaS), and advanced air mobility (AAM). A Guide for Readers of This Report For readers interested in risk associated with specific technologies, Chapter 1 provides useful background, but the reader might begin with Chapter 2, which describes the risk register format and then select among Chapters 3 through 6 for the specific technology of interest. For those interested in risk to specific agency goals, Chapter 1 provides useful background, but the reader might begin with Chapter 2, which describes the risk register format. Appendix A consists of a statistical breakdown of risk priority among agency goals. Turn to Appendix B for the full risk register arranged by agency goal and risk priority. Further information on specific sources of risk may then be obtained by using the unique identifier associated with any row in the Appendix B risk register to identify additional information found in Chapters 3 through 6 in Tables 3.1b through 6.1b as well as the literature review provided in each chapter. For those interested in agency risk management, Chapter 1 provides the background of this report. Chapter 2 describes the risk register format. Appendix C describes the method used to develop the risk register as well as guidelines for how agencies may both modify its entries and tailor the tools used to develop it to local circumstances and priorities. Chapter 7 provides primers on high-level policy and strategy to enhance the resilience of transportation agencies while Appendix D provides fuller versions of these briefs. Appendix A contains a statistical breakdown of risk priority among agency goals and technology groups. For those interested in methodological innovation, Chapter 1 provides useful background, and Chapter 2 describes the risk register format and approach. Appendix C describes the method used to develop the risk register as well as guidelines for how agencies may modify its entries and also tailor the tools used to develop it to local circumstances and priorities.

8 Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide Research Method The research team conducted a literature review of hazards associated with the four tech- nology groups and the agency goals defined by the NCHRP Project 23-15 panel. Results were placed within a common framework. Gaps (in the form of unanswered questions) were identi- fied. These gaps became the focus of questions and themes for the peer exchanges on mobility and safety, sustainability, and equity. Each session had 8 to 12 participants. The team selected participants from planning and policy staffs of state DOTs and MPOs and representatives of other government agencies, but also researchers, staff of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and representative stakeholders from both business and local communities. Appendix C describes the methodology of the peer exchanges. Using outputs from the peer exchanges and the results of the literature review, the research team identified the hazards to be included in the risk register. These were potential deleterious outcomes from the application of the new technologies as well as missed opportunities for failing to advance agency goals through technology use. The methodological approach for assessing risk priority was developed as described in Chapter 2. This was refined over several iterations to test the capacity to accommodate the range of cases being examined. Care was taken to adapt the risk register to an environment where little data on probability and scale of hazard occurrence were available. The methodology used to generate the risk register was reviewed. All participants in the peer exchanges were invited to an online presentation and discussion of the methodology for their review and input. A workshop attended by staff from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the California Department of Transportation was held at SCAG headquarters. Teams of attendees worked on actual assessments of risk and risk priority by employing this report’s methods. The second part of the review was the development of high-level policy and strategy primers aimed at presenting broader, high-level risk mitigation strategies and policies sufficient for imple- mentation in a technology-agnostic manner across agency goals. These were constructed by analyzing the columns in the risk register that listed actions that could be taken to mitigate the consequences of the risks implicit in each of its rows and noting commonalities. The products from this report seek to provide state DOTs and MPOs with a new framework to strengthen agency resilience to risk from emerging technologies. The report offers a holistic approach for agencies to proactively manage risks latent in existing and newly emerging tech- nologies. Furthermore, the methodology outlined in Chapter 2 can be used to compare different approaches based on geographies and has the potential to foster information sharing among state DOTs or MPOs. Appendix C contains a detailed description of the methodology. Four Technology Groups Detailed literature reviews on sources of risk for the four technology groups appear in Chapters 3 through 6. This section provides brief overviews of those four groups. EVs. The distinguishing feature of modern EVs is their power source; instead of relying on internal combustion engines (ICE), they use battery packs that store electrochemical energy that can deliver current to an electric motor on demand. There is also ongoing work on a class of EVs that generate electricity using hydrogen fuel cells. There are several subcategories of EVs. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are vehicles that have both an engine with a fuel source and a battery-powered electric motor. However, not every HEV can be charged externally; those that can are referred to as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). A vehicle without any ICE and powered solely by an electric motor is termed a battery electric vehicle (BEV) and can be charged externally. An umbrella term used to capture all vehicles that can be plugged into

Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management 9   charging infrastructure like PHEVs and BEVs is plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). This report will refer to both BEVs and PHEVs as EVs. When referring to the size and ownership of vehicles, the following terms are used: passenger light-duty vehicle (PLDV), medium-duty (MD) vehicle, heavy-duty (HD) vehicle, and light commercial vehicle (LCV). Transportation electrification is increasingly seen as critical for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many government entities and corporate policies have come to support transportation electrification (Kapustin and Grushevenko 2020). Technical improvement and rising commit- ments to EVs from automakers present promising growth in EVs (McKerracher et al. 2022). The time and resources available for this report did not permit delving into the distinctions between alternative energy fuel paths for EVs. While the focus is on battery storage, much of the information may apply to hydrogen fuel cell alternatives. CAVs. Autonomous vehicles (AVs), also referred to as “driverless,” “autonomous,” or “self- driving” cars, are “vehicles that perform all driving functions with or without the human driver” (Pieroni et al. 2018), including “steering, throttle, braking, and motive power selection (forward, reverse, and other), with various levels of occupant involvement or monitoring” (Maddox et al. 2015). Such vehicles might be owned by private parties or may be shared among multiple users, referred to as shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) or shared autonomous electric vehicles (SAEVs). Connected vehicles (CVs) have “applications, services, and technologies that connect a vehicle to its surroundings” (Uhlemann 2015). They enable direct or indirect communication to and between vehicles by using technologies that include but are not limited to direct short-range communications (DSRC), cellular telephony, Wi-Fi, or satellite (Maddox et al. 2015). Surroundings in the CV context refers to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I). CAVs have connected and autonomous driving capabilities. Wadud et al. (2016) estimated, based on a survey of self-identified experts, that vehicles would be capable of driving themselves on urban and rural surface roads and highways by 2025, and doing so in a failsafe manner (without a human driver backup) by 2030. More recent projections are less optimistic [e.g., Metz (2021)]. Adoption of CAV technology by consumers is wrought with uncertainty, with most estimates derived from volunteer, self-reported survey data. For example, a survey of about 600 respondents from Austin, Texas, revealed about half of the respondents were likely to use CAVs and half were unlikely to use them. Boston Consulting Group anticipates that it will take 15 to 20 years for AVs “to reach a global market-penetration rate of 25%” (West 2016). As with the other technologies, it remains to be seen how CAV technology and systems will be embodied in new transportation products. This report emphasizes shared-use CAVs (currently in testing phases) because it appears that this form and usage (i.e., robotaxis) are likely to emerge first on U.S. roadways. However, much that is discussed in this report could apply to private- use CAVs as well as freight. The method used to construct the risk register may be used to create additional rows for sources of risk to agency goals arising from these applications. MOD/MaaS. MOD is the “concept envisioning an interconnected and coordinated mobility ecosystem to meet the needs of all users by providing the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of travelers and goods. MOD offers users personalized mobility and goods delivery options on request, matched with coordinated network strategies of services providers and operations managers” (SAE 2021). MOD takes a user-focused approach to ensure that new emerging modes are “developed alongside existing services in an integrated fashion to foster a fluid and connected transport system incorporating all modes and people in a seamless fashion” (U.S. DOT 2023).

10 Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide MaaS is a “concept envisioning integrated mobility where travelers can access multiple trans- portation modes over a single digital interface. MaaS primarily focuses on passenger mobility allowing travelers to seamlessly plan, book, and/or pay for travel on a pay-as-you-go or sub- scription basis” (SAE 2021). While MOD focuses on the user, MaaS focuses on the technological aspects, enabling users to plan, book, and pay for multiple transportation modes using a single interface (AASHTO 2023). The MaaS customer uses a single application and payment channel to access mobility, regardless of the travel mode or the length or type of trip. While MaaS is defined by the aggregation of interfaces and payment methods, MOD is the concept of consumers accessing mobility and goods delivery through multiple means, when and where they want it. AAM. AAM is a broad concept focusing on emerging aviation markets and use cases for on-demand aviation in urban, suburban, and rural communities. AAM includes local use cases of about a 50-mile radius in rural or urban areas and intraregional use cases of up to a few hundred miles that occur within or between urban and rural areas. AAM includes passenger mobility, goods delivery, and emergency services in urban and rural areas [commonly referred to as urban air mobility (UAM) and rural air mobility, respectively] (Cohen et al. 2021; Reiche et al. 2018). A variety of technological advancements and industry investments in electrification, auto- mation, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), and air traffic management are enabling innovations in aviation such as new aircraft designs, services, and business models. Several companies have announced plans to launch passenger AAM services using VTOL and other novel aircraft designs beginning in the mid-2020s. A few prepandemic market studies estimate the potential for scaled operations and profitable services in the late- 2020s and early 2030 (Cohen et al. 2021; Goyal et al. 2021; Hasan 2019; Morgan Stanley Research 2019; Porsche Consulting 2018; Reiche et al. 2018). Of the four technology groups, AAM is in several ways the most difficult to treat in a risk register format. EVs are on the road, people are using the first MOD/MaaS services, and CAVs in the form of “robotaxis” are being tested. Yet, AAM represents a diverse group of technologies, use cases, aircraft, and operations. Additionally, AAM may be piloted, remotely piloted, or fully automated, with unique types of risks associated with varying types of automation. AAM should be viewed as representative rather than comprehensive. As AAM technologies emerge, agencies may add additional rows to the risk register for sources of risk for these farther off applications. Agency Goals: What Is at Risk? The concept of risk contains within it the concept of threat. What may be at risk if exposure to a hazard occurs and vulnerability to that hazard is present? What are the potential losses or gains for transportation agencies? This report focuses on a selection of agency goals derived from U.S. DOT reports, noteworthy emerging mobility plans, and participants in peer exchanges. These outward-facing goals, along with several agency goals categorized as inward-facing, were used as search terms in tabulating risks to agencies: • Equity. The equity goal seeks to “reduce inequities across our transportation systems and communities they affect. [It also seeks to] support and engage people and communities to promote safe, affordable, accessible, and multimodal access to opportunities and services while

Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management 11   reducing transportation-related disparities, adverse community impacts, and health effects” (U.S. DOT 2022d). • Environment and Sustainability. To increase the sustainability of the transportation system, agencies need to “substantially reduce GHG emissions and transportation-related pollu- tion and build more resilient and sustainable transportation systems to benefit and protect communities” (U.S. DOT 2022d). • Mobility. Mobility is the ability to move quickly within and throughout a transportation envi- ronment to different activity sites. One means for enhancing mobility is accessibility, the number of activity sites available within a given distance or travel time (Giuliano and Hanson 2017, Ch. 1). Emerging mobility technologies have the potential to increase congestion—and therefore reduce mobility—due to induced demand brought by lower operational costs. • Safety. The reduction and elimination of fatality and injury from the nation’s roads are stated as the number one priority of the U.S. DOT. Each operating administration under U.S. DOT’s jurisdiction takes a safety-first approach to providing transportation services. • Security and Privacy. One major objective of the U.S. DOT’s Strategic Plan is to “strengthen transportation system resiliency to protect it from disruption from cyber and other attacks” (U.S. DOT 2022d). Failure to maintain a secure transportation system could lead to connectivity challenges and individuals’ compromised safety and privacy. • Public Acceptance of New Technologies. How well and how readily the public accepts new technologies may be a factor in achieving other agency goals. • Public Health. This category was used to include factors that would support or detract from public health other than those included in the category of safety. • Inward-Facing Agency Goals. Agencies should individually or collaboratively define inward- facing goals so that they can then identify consequences that may result if the goals are Basic Definitions of Risk While this report is not intended to substitute as a manual on agency risk management, it is important to define risk and the concepts that underly it. These definitions are used within this report. Risk arises from a combination of hazard, likelihood, and consequence. Source of Risk (“Hazard”) is an event or condition that might lead to risk for an agency goal or objective. The technical literature speaks of “hazard,” but that term does not fully convey the sense in which risk is seen to arise in the specialized setting of transportation, where a beneficial outcome in some respects might be a source of risk in another. In this report, the terms “hazard” and “source of risk” will be used interchangeably. Likelihood is most often expressed as a probability of occurrence. Such a probability is often difficult to gauge accurately for emerging technologies in their early stages. Consequence is usually calculated as the loss (or gain) that occurs when a hazard materializes and changes the outcome from what had been expected. Consequence may be affected by degree of exposure to a hazard as well as factors that would raise or lower individual agency vulnerability to it. This report includes exposure and vulnerability within the concept of consequence and does not treat them separately.

12 Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide compromised. Examples in this category include the goals of budgetary solvency, limitation of tort liability, workforce adequacy (both within the agency in terms of access to necessary skills for understanding changed requirements associated with emerging technologies and within the wider economy for those technologies’ safe and effective operation), data governance, and changes in agency goals as a result of societal change from technology adoption. In the risk register framework, the outward-facing goals appear first, public acceptance of new technologies and public health are placed together in the category of Other, and internal agency goals are treated as one large set. Risk versus Hazard Because of the need to speak with precision about potential actions that transportation agencies may take or postures in which to place themselves to better mitigate risk, it is useful to speak with precision about the concept of risk. Risk arises from some underlying cause or event, a “hazard.” A hazard, however, may not lead to consequences for one or more agency goals. Risk arises from a hazard depending on the likelihood of an event occurring (e.g., the deployment of EVs as luxury vehicles) and some measurable consequence for some specific agency goals (e.g., transportation equity). For this project, emerg- ing and disruptive transportation technologies can also present an opportunity if they enable an agency to meet its goals better than it currently can. Thus, there is a risk of a missed opportunity. For instance, widespread use of EVs presents an opportunity to meet transportation sustainability goals (e.g., reducing GHG emissions), but public investment in charging infrastructure is nec- essary to realize that opportunity. Failing to invest in charging infrastructure risks missing the opportunity that EVs offer. Risk management requires understanding threats and opportunities and planning to avoid or manage them. The challenge in the management of risk associated with emerging and dis- ruptive technologies is that there is considerable uncertainty. Such uncertainty is inherent in the enterprise of technology innovation and adoption. Formal tools of risk management can be applied when likelihoods are well understood and the hazards that may occasion risk to agency goals or operations have been cataloged. There is little consensus on hazards, likelihoods, or consequences. On the other hand, consensus formed too early could prove in the long run to increase risks. The opportunities for surprise would multiply. Therefore, risk management also includes identifying and prioritizing actions to manage these uncertain risks. The first step is to form a base of knowledge. Risk Management in an Era of Change Agency risk managers realize that it is not possible to achieve and sustain a static posture for risk management because of the velocity of technologi- cal change; the interconnections between different technologies, existing systems, and economic and social processes; the complexity and far from well-understood character of those relationships; and changing roles for transportation agencies. Rather, the best stance that managers can take is to determine how they can enhance resilience as a property of their organizations and processes. This report is intended to assist them in moving toward such a posture. Risk registers work well for processes for which there are historical practices and databases of experience to draw from. Constructing a risk register that “New fast-moving technology- based trends are characterized by uncertainties, and the main criteria that . . . officials use in deciding how to respond . . . do not address uncertainty” (Government Accounting Office 2008).

Innovative Transportation Technologies and Risk Management 13   will stand the test of time may not only be impossible but may be a disservice to agencies. Over- confidence stemming from misplaced concreteness is one of the leading causes of both surprise and underestimation of the level of risk an agency might be exposed to. The risk register is illustrative rather than comprehensive: A snapshot based on what agencies know and are experiencing with these emerging technologies at the time the report’s research was carried out. It has been constructed from the perspective that agencies will need to update it at regular intervals—similar to the agency practice of performance management. This report anticipates and provides guidelines for how revising the risk register to address local conditions and concerns. During the study, it was determined that a traditional risk register alone would be insufficient to support agencies appropriately. The report therefore includes materials in addition to the risk register. The report derives from the risk register an overview of the mitigating actions that agencies might employ to address the risk presented in its rows. A small number of high-level policies or strategies would enhance the ability of agencies to maintain resilience in the face of shifting risks as well as develop and implement actions that would be robust to the plausible future implicit in the different trajectories new technologies might follow. Short versions of these primers are found in Chapter 7 while more detailed versions are presented in Appendix D. Outline of This Report Chapter 2 lays out how agency staff may use the risk registers presented in the subsequent chapters. (Appendix C contains a more detailed discussion of the issues involved with risk management in the face of emerging and disruptive technologies being adopted into the systems involved in transportation. It outlines the steps and explains the tools developed to construct a risk register for the risks raised by the four technology groups. This appendix also explains how agencies may then use this framework to both adapt it to the circumstances of their locale of jurisdiction as well as update the risk register as conditions in their regions or those surrounding the technologies may shift). Chapters 3 through 6 present the risk register by technology group. The risk register and its accompanying risk matrix for calculating relative priorities among sources of risk across the four technologies and a range of agency goals constitute the principal focus of this study. Each chapter includes literature reviews of sources of risk for that chapter’s technology group. (Appendix A provides a statistical overview of risk priority across all rows of the full risk matrix while Appendix B presents the full set, this time grouped by agency goals). Chapter 7 looks across the mitigating actions present in the risk register and derives from them a small set of higher-level policies or strategies for agencies to use. The guidelines included in the chapter are intended to place agencies into a more resilient posture for handing tech- nological risk. These guidelines are reflective of the current mitigating actions at the time of this publication and serve as a useful template to be updated by agencies when going through this process. Short overviews of these topics are provided in this chapter while Appendix D provides more detailed expositions. Chapter 8 concludes with how agencies can operate with greater confidence as they enter an era with uncertain risks.

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Emerging technologies present many potential challenges to state departments of transportation (DOTs) and other agencies that own and manage the existing infrastructure. Significant uncertainty exists about which changes are most likely to occur and where the largest impacts could be, hampering an effective national alignment in policy and approach.

NCHRP Research Report 1090: Risks Related to Emerging and Disruptive Transportation Technologies: A Guide, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, presents a register of risks to state and local transportation agencies and their constituents posed by four emerging technologies: electric vehicles (EVs), connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs), mobility on demand/mobility as a service (MOD/MaaS), and advanced air mobility (AAM).

Supplemental to the report are a PowerPoint presentation describing the research and an implementation plan.

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