Scenarios and Justification for Automated Vehicle Demonstration in Rural Minnesota

Principal Investigator(s):

Frank Douma, Director, State & Local Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

Automated vehicles (AVs) have the potential to disrupt the current transportation system and culture. While experts debate the exact timeline, the question is likely a matter of when--not if. Therefore, communities of all kinds need to prepare for this future. Small urban and rural communities, in particular, could benefit from the development of the technology, as many of their residents are unable to drive due to age and/or disability. Automated technology could provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for these communities, but so far most of the AV testing has been conducted in densely populated urban areas. This project provides justification for why rural and small urban communities should host AV demonstrations and how these communities can create a plan to do so. Researchers accomplished this task by providing information about rural and small urban communities and by reviewing the current state of AV technology, the legal environment for AVs, and best practices from past and current AV demonstrations. Researchers also engaged with two small urban communities in Minnesota to gather information about real community needs, desires, and limitations.

Project details: