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Profile: Colorado Department of Transportation

PAVE: How is Colorado preparing for AVs? What steps have already been taken?

  • CDOT has a dedicated program for connected and autonomous technologies in the Office of Innovative Mobility. The Mobility Technology Program in the Office of Innovative Mobility leads Colorado’s strategy for piloting connected and autonomous technologies in Colorado and guides policy recommendations for emerging transportation technology that can improve safety and expand mobility options. Staff resources in the program provide subject matter expertise to guide the state’s technical strategy and direction in all things emerging technologies. Staff participate in local and national conversations, initiatives, task forces and working groups regarding connected and autonomous technologies.
  • Colorado Senate Bill 17–213 (SB 17–213) provided regulatory framework to the use of automated driving systems (ADS) in Colorado. SB 17–213 designated the Colorado State Patrol and CDOT to oversee a process to review and evaluate the operation of an automated driving system that is not capable of complying with every federal, state and local law. The process features submission of an entity’s request to the Autonomous Mobility Task Force, which is a joint body between the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The Autonomous Mobility Task Force is coordinated and led by CDOT, with meetings occurring on an as-needed basis.
  • Additionally, CDOT is undertaking various efforts to leverage the tremendous amounts of data generated by vehicles the public can purchase and by highly automated vehicles that may be in more of a research and development phase.
  • CDOT participates in several national working groups and pool funds that include the policy and deployment of autonomous technologies. CDOT serves as the lead agency for the Autonomous Maintenance Technology Pool Fund that serves to enable the deployment of autonomous maintenance technology in state DOT operations.

PAVE: What AV deployments have taken place in Colorado?

The Autonomous Mobility Task Force has reviewed three deployments to date that have been granted operation on the public roadway. Two efforts have featured a low-speed shuttle in the Denver metro. The third effort is led by CDOT, featuring an autonomous truck-mounted attenuator, supporting roadway maintenance operations. Further details regarding each deployment are linked below.

PAVE: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your work with AVs?

Technology is rapidly changing the way we operate and maintain our roadways, and offers tremendous promise to improve safety and mobility for our traveling public. Having a dedicated office and subject matter experts in our connected and autonomous technologies program enables Colorado to be well poised to integrate transportation innovations and emerging technologies as they become viable.

Follow Colorado DOT on social media @ColoradoDOT.

About the Public Sector Advisory Council: PAVE’s public sector partners help to guide PAVE on its mission of promoting fact-based public discussion about automated vehicles. Council members serve in a strictly advisory capacity, providing PAVE and its members with opinions and recommendations related to AV technology and its societal effects.