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Automated Driving Systems (ADS) Demonstration Project


The USDOT ADS Demonstration Grants Program appropriated funding for a "highly automated vehicle research and development program" to fund planning, direct research, and demonstration grants for ADS and other driving automation systems and technologies. The demonstration grant included funds for testing the safe integration of ADS into our Nation's on-road transportation system.

PennDOT applied for the USDOT ADS Grant Program and received funding of $8,409,444. PennDOT plans to utilize these funds for research and development, planning, testing, demonstrating, and deploying the safe integration of AVs in the work zones through this grant.

The Project

Through this demonstration, PennDOT and the project team aim to solve the challenge of safe integration of AVs into most work zones by examining if improved connectivity, enhanced visibility, and HD mapping will enable AVs to safely travel the work zones.

The team will demonstrate how the operation of AVs in work zones can be tested, improved and standardized in three phases as shown:

  • Phase I – Planning
  • Phase II – Deployment
  • Phase III – Post-Deployment

During Phase I, the team will plan for the deployment of the testing and analysis phase using the project management and systems engineering approaches and develop appropriate planning documentation.

During Phase II, the team will implement and deploy the plan developed as part of Phase I. The team has identified 17 common work zone scenarios/configurations in different urban, rural, and suburban settings on limited access facilities and urban arterials, typical to not only Pennsylvania, but other states too. Connected vehicle equipment will be added to the appropriate traffic control devices, construction workers and vehicles (collectively called work zone artifacts). Pavement markings and work zone artifacts will be enhanced with special coatings to improve visibility specifically for the AVs.

For each of the work zone scenarios, the team will conduct simulation and closed track testing at the PSU test track. In addition, the team will conduct live on-road testing for at least three (3) of the work zone scenarios including one (1) demonstration in an urbanized environment, one (1) on a limited access facility, and one (1) mobile environment.

The simulation and testing processes include mapping the work zone in HD with PSU's enhanced mapping vehicle, making the map accessible to CMU's AV and operating the AVs through the simulation, staged work zones in the closed track and live on-road environment. Throughout the simulation and testing process, mapping data, vehicle data, connectivity ecosystem data, operational data and safety performance data will be collected and stored in a cloud-based Data Management System for open access by USDOT and the public.

During Phase III, the team will evaluate the performance of the demonstration project by following the procedures identified in the Project Evaluation Plan, developed during Phase I.

Project News

Coming Soon.

Project Documents

Proposal: PennDOT ADS Demonstration Grant Proposal

Planning Phase Documents: