Looking to build your connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) program? These five tips will help your organization navigate the evolving smart mobility landscape to find solutions that benefit users the most.
CAV programs have the potential to make traffic safe, efficient and less harmful to the environment. But building a program from the ground up can be complex. Between rapidly changing technology, stakeholder coordination and funding challenges, leveraging smart mobility requires a thoughtful planning process where user needs are always top of mind.
After assisting the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) in establishing its strategic CAV program, we looked back to find what drove success the most. When we reflected on everything from pre-planning to the completion of the CAV strategic plan, these 5 keys stood out above the rest:
1. A well-balanced team leads to a well-rounded plan
Identifying the key roles and critical points of contact across and outside the organization gives everyone their say in the strategy, preventing logjams that can occur during review and approval phases.
Build with the long-term in mind
LADOTD fielded representatives from different departments and day-to-day functions to ensure every detail would be covered. Program leaders also sought out staff who had solid institutional knowledge and could commit to the long-term duration of the plan.
With how fast CAV technology changes, requirements like these can be useful in keeping pace. Experienced members familiar with the inner workings of an agency, customer needs and external partnerships will more quickly recognize opportunities you can capitalize on. The long-term commitment also prevents backslide caused by team turnover or members phasing in and out of the project.
Identify a champion
Progress will only move so fast or far without an executive stakeholder. At LADOTD, we had Stephen Glascock, ITS director, to champion our cause at every turn. Having Steve’s perspective during visioning workshops and action plan reviews enriched the plan, and his intimate knowledge made it easier to get stakeholder buy-in when it was time to make the vision a reality.
Collaborate with external partners
Large-scale CAV projects should involve as many external partnerships as possible. Our team worked closely with The City of Baton Rouge and Louisiana Transportation Research Center to bring forth a plan best suited for residents. Combining the perspectives, datasets and ideas in a shared vision kept us on track toward making roads safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.