Report: Connected Vehicles Are Coming and Bringing Challenges with Them

Connected vehicles and infrastructure promise to transform the urban landscape, but not before cities address the costs, management challenges and public concerns with the technology.

by / October 21, 2015

Transportation technology is advancing fast, and it's changing how cities work.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (PDF) examines how technologies like connected cars and smart infrastructure will change how people live, work and move. Though the report concludes that the ultimate impact of such technologies is unknown, costs will be substantial as full-scale deployments are unveiled the next 20 years.

Chief findings of the report, Intelligent Transportation Systems: Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Technologies Expected to Offer Benefits, but Deployment Challenges Exist, include an estimation that the Department of Transportation will allocate up to $100 million the next five years for projects that test vehicle-to-infrastructure technology in real-world settings. Facilities like the University of Michigan's MCity, a testbed for connected vehicle technology, will gain more funding and sophistication in the coming years.

Full-scale deployments will also face challenges before they can be realized, the report found. Key challenges include:

  • ensuring connected vehicles have a reliable and safe radio frequency upon which they can operate;
  • a lack of government resources to manage these emerging technologies;
  • a lack of standards governing the operation of the technologies;
  • the lack of a data management and security plan; and
  • a lack of public education when it comes to using and living around connected vehicle technology.