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Profile: Georgia Department of Transportation

PAVE: How is Georgia preparing for AVs?

Georgia’s AV readiness covers 4 principal facets:

  • Legal — in 2018, the Georgia Legislature passed 2 bills which were signed into law. One allowed AV’s to travel legally on Georgia highways, the other changed state law concerning the definition of “tailgating” so that truck platoons wouldn’t be regarded as tailgating.
  • Technology — Since 2018, Georgia has installed over 600 connected vehicle roadside units (RSU’s), with plans underway for Georgia DOT to install an additional 1,000, and further plans for the Atlanta area MPO to install yet another 1,000 RSU’s. Almost all of these RSU’s are installed at signalized intersections and broadcast SpaT and MAP messages.
  • Signals — Since 2015, Georgia DOT has had an active program to upgrade traffic signals statewide to the latest version of traffic signal firmware — which can accommodate connected vehicle technology. As well, Georgia DOT has upgraded traffic signal displays to provide separate indications for each lane and has upgraded left-turn signals to flashing yellow arrow displays.
  • Markings — Since 2015, Georgia DOT has invested nearly $30,000,000 a year to upgrade the condition of our pavement markings to the latest in marking technology, including wider stripes.

PAVE: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your experience with AV development?

We continue to learn how best to work with the AV development community. We speak different languages, and so have to pay attention to both what WE say and what the developers say to make sure that we are being understood — and that we understand. AV development is an ongoing and not mature concept. So, we (as Infrastructure Owners and Operators) are learning what matters most to the AV developer community.

PAVE: Have any deployments or testing taken place in Georgia?

We have limited knowledge of AV deployments due to the enabling stance of our state law concerning AV’s. We are aware of limited AV working done in a freight context and are in conversations with AV developers about expanding testing.

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.