Advisory Council Releases Report on Connected and Automated Vehicles

The council's recommendations include working with communities to help guide future policy, and educating Minnesotans about the advantages of the technology.
(Published Jan 7, 2019)

The Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles released a report outlining its recommendations on Dec. 12.

The report is the result of Gov. Mark Dayton’s March 5, 2018, executive order, which established the advisory council and directed it to recommend changes to statutes, rules, and policies based on stakeholder and public input. Recommendations relate to increasing safety, enhancing mobility options, expanding the economy, and maximizing health and the environment.

—Access the full report

The report recognizes the growing number of states that already have legislation for connected and automated vehicles (CAV)—also known as autonomous vehicles—and seeks to ensure Minnesotans benefit from the technology. The report also recommends updating the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act to protect the personal data of people traveling in automated vehicles and develop security protocols to address cybersecurity risk.

Recommendations

Recommendations include passing legislation to authorize a pilot program for the safe testing of automated vehicles and a program for truck platooning, which allows two or more vehicles equipped with connected technology to travel in a convoy exempt from the following distance requirements.

The report also recommends developing a public engagement plan to continue working with communities to help guide future CAV policy and hold CAV demonstrations to provide Minnesotans opportunities to learn how the technology can improve lives.

Collaboration and input

The advisory council collaborated with communities experiencing transportation barriers, automotive industry, business, labor, technology companies, advocacy groups, local governments, insurance, public safety, and educational institutions to make its recommendations.

Ten subcommittees representing public and private organizations, including the League of Minnesota Cities, studied different areas of policy, including transportation infrastructure; vehicle registration, driver training, and licensing; accessibility; equity; revenue; traffic regulations and safety; economic development, business opportunity, and workforce preparation; insurance and liability; cybersecurity and data privacy; and land use and planning. The council also engaged the public through surveys on these policy areas.

Key themes

Based on stakeholder feedback, the advisory council developed six key themes:

  • Modernize Policy. Proactively engage in modernizing state law and policies for rapidly evolving technology and changing infrastructure need.
  • Equity. Support a people-first, multimodal transportation system by prioritizing mobility strategies that address accessibility, equity, environmental sustainability, and public health.
  • Proactive Leadership and Public Engagement. Continue and expand the Interagency Connected and Automated Vehicles Team; continue stakeholder groups and public engagement to ensure Minnesotans have a voice in formulating statewide policy; establish a future transportation mobility executive committee to continue the work of the advisory council and guide statewide policy.
  • Public Education and Outreach. Provide educational opportunities for the public to experience the technology through demonstrations, and offer feedback.
  • Funding. Invest in research and pilot projects, including projects to engage the public; invest in fiber optics, broadband communications, and other technologies such as signal system modernization, smart signage, and vehicle electrification.
  • Partnerships. Support public-private collaborative efforts to shape national standards and policies, share best practices, and identify infrastructure needs.

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