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Automated and Connected Vehicles: What Are the Benefits and Potential Problems they Present to the Transportation World?

The automated and connected vehicles technologies were designed with the purpose to make transportation safer. New technologies used in these vehicles aim to develop network communication in the infrastructure (V21), vehicles (V2V), and private communication devices (V2X). The importance of these technologies lies in their goal to reduce crashes on the highways, give more information to travelers, provide a better monitoring of the transportation systems’ performance, and reduce emissions. The introduction of automated and connected vehicles has significantly changed the design, planning, and operational characteristics of roads. Approaches employed by these two technologies differ; however, they present similar challenges to the transportation system. They can either diverge or converge in terms of developments provided by the third-party vendors or vehicle manufacturers that represent the private sector.

There are benefits and potential problems of both automated and connected vehicles relating to the automated transit, modeling implications, regional planning, truck automation, human factors, commercialization of automation, digital infrastructure, roadway management, physical infrastructure, and shared mobility, as well as roadmap maturity and performance. Along with the benefits, there are a number of challenges that require higher levels of automation that can considerably improve the quality of transportation in the world. In the recent decades, a large emphasis is made on the improvement of safety conditions, protection of the environment from pollution, reduction of energy consumption, and optimization of the transportation networks.

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Research Aim

This research will aim to determine the benefits and challenges of connected and automated vehicles: their potential benefits and problems.

Research Questions

In order to achieve the aim, it is essential to observe and analyze the data concerning new technologies and applications used both in connected and automated vehicles. The goal of this study will be to find out the most relevant solutions to increase benefits and eliminate challenges that are presented by both types of vehicles to the transportation industry.

The two research questions are the following:

  1. How do connected and automated vehicles improve safety, mobility, and environment?
  2. What is the connection of these vehicles with infrastructure?

Research Problem

This study will aim to explore how connected and automated vehicles impact the safety, mobility, and environment. It is a well-known fact that petroleum-burning engines of the majority of cars produce air emissions that negatively impact the environment. The emission produced by car is as much dangerous for the population as the traffic crashes. The possibility to switch from petroleum to electric motors is now available in many countries, the number of which is rising each year. Electric motors and batteries reduce air emission; it is the core benefits of automated vehicles. Drivers can benefit and save money by charging the car batteries at home, shopping centers, work, or roadside stops. Leveson [2011] asserts that the U.S. Government tries to reduce air emission by introducing new fuels such as biofuels and natural gas in order to protect the environment. Moreover, car makers plan to develop more automated vehicles that are electric powered; they are going to be safer than connected vehicles with internal combustion engines. Automation technologies are the greatest benefit that offers safer transportation because automated cars can avoid crashes with other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Electric vehicles are lighter and smaller; these features allow them to be more compatible in dense areas. Consequently, they have more potential than connected vehicles.

The future production of automated vehicles will encourage drivers to be more relaxed when driving, for example, to pay less attention to the roadway. This fact makes these cars popular in spite of their high cost. Drivers and passengers may enjoy a more comfortable travel and protect the environment making it greener. Automated vehicles are a perfect decision to preserve the environment from air emission, as well as optimize transportation networks and energy consumption. These cars will become more attractive to the community in the future because they cause a lower damage to the environment, including climate and people.

Research Hypotheses

  • Automated and connected vehicles technologies were the great invention that improved the safety, mobility, and environment. New technologies provided communicative applications that allowed vehicles to communicate wirelessly with the other vehicles and infrastructure. These technologies reduced traffic crashes, gave more information to travelers, provided a better view of the transportation system’s performance, and reduced emissions. Approaches employed by these two technologies differ; however, they present similar challenges to the transportation system. They can either diverge or converge in terms of developments provided by the third-party vendors or vehicle manufacturers.
  • There are some benefits and potential challenges of automated and connected vehicles relating to automated transit, modeling implications, regional planning, truck automation, human factors, commercialization of automation, digital infrastructure, roadway management, physical infrastructure, and shared mobility, as well as roadmap maturity and performance. Still, there are some challenges that require higher levels of automation that can considerably improve the level of transportation in the world. It is predicted that the new technologies would be largely implemented in connected and automated vehicles with the aim to improve safety, preserve the environment from pollution, reduce energy consumption, and optimize the transportation networks.

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Research Objectives

  • Establishing the importance of the new connected and automated vehicles technologies in the modern transportation system.
  • Determining the relevance of leverage wireless technologies to the improvement of the environment.
  • Finding an effective solution in order to adapt technologies to their physical surroundings, including electrical engineering, transport engineering, and computer science.
  • Identifying the connection between the connected and automated vehicles and vehicles infrastructure.

Literature Review

Research of automated and connected vehicles is of the greatest interest both to the world community and manufacturers who realize the importance of the new built-in technological applications of these vehicles. The history of automated and connected vehicles has started since the 1930-1940s when they were introduced in the United States. Automated and connected vehicles were of the greatest concern to the scientists because these technologies could considerably improve the road transportation safety and efficiency.

Leveson, N., Engineering a Safer World: Systems Thinking Applied to Safety (Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011).

In his book, Leveson admits that the concept of the automotive highway was the first one that was introduced in New York, at the World Fair 1939. Norman Bell Geddes was a founding father of this new idea that, in 15-20 years, became the reality in the USA. Leveson has proved that there are benefits and potential problems of automated and connected vehicles relating to automated transit, modeling implications, regional planning, truck automation, human factors, commercialization of automation, digital infrastructure, roadway management, physical infrastructure, and shared mobility, as well as roadmap maturity and performance. However, he noted that some challenges require higher levels of automation that can considerably improve the level of transportation in the world. He believes that the new technologies would be largely implemented in connected and automated vehicles in order to enhance the safety, preserve the environment from pollution, reduce energy consumption, and optimize the transportation networks.

Anderson, ‎J. M., K. Nidhi, ‎and K. D. Stanley, Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers (Washington: Rand Corporation, 2014).

In their book, Anderson, Nidhi, and Stanley showed how Geddes described the existing systems that have been used in aircrafts in that time and how it could be implemented in modern cars in order to help them stay in line keeping the proper distance. In fact, in 60 years after the fair, cruise control functionality was put into practice. Radio communication was the greatest tool that made it possible to connect vehicles with a central infrastructure that controlled the traffic flow. The collaboration of the General Motors and Radio Corporation of America allowed implementing a new system into automated highways. Connected vehicle research is directed at leveraging wireless technologies in order to improve the environment. Electronics technologies and wireless communication were designed to improve not only the safety and mobility but also the environment. Intelligent Transportation Systems work in accordance with the programs issued by Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The latest Federal ITS Program (2010-2014) provided a national transportation system that encouraged a connected transportation environment to leverage technologies to improve the environmental performance, as well as mobility and safety, of connected vehicles [Anderson and others, 2014]. The aim of this program was to enhance connectivity among vehicles, wireless devices, and roadway infrastructure.

Kohler, W. J., and A. Colbert-Taylor, “Current Law and Potential Legal Issues Pertaining to Automated, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles”. Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal, vol. 31, no. 1 (2015), pp. 103-122.

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In their study, Kohler and Colbert-Taylor reported that in order to improve the safety, mobility, and environment, the transportation industry should rely on governmental programs. Thus, the Cooperative Vehicle-Highway Automation Systems initiative was a federal program that aimed to provide automated solutions for safety, mobility, fuel economy, and environmental protection in the transportation industry. Being one of the most researched domains, automated and connected technologies are supposed to grow in the future because the existing ones are only a part of potential possibilities. The authors reported that for decades, many world-famous automotive companies such as General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota has continued the development of new vehicle technologies.

Tate, ‎W. H., and M. D. Abkowitz, Emerging Technologies Applicable to Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety and Security, Report #4 (Washington: National Academy of Sciences, 2011).

In their report, Tate and Abkowitz stated that in 2011, the State of Nevada Assembly Committee on Transportation implemented regulations for vehicles and outlined how certification should be established. Followed Nevada’s initiatives, other states such as Florida and California also developed their regulations. Remarkably, some Western European countries and Japan have taken a special position concerning the automated and connected vehicles and transport provided testing of vehicle technologies. After the recent economic crises, the leading worldwide automotive industries and suppliers are getting more engaged in the production of automated and connected vehicles. Stanford University became the leading center initiating the automated vehicle research worldwide. Many automotive companies, mainly from Japan and Germany, were involved in this research. To reach the goal, many programs were implemented. Among them, there was Google’s self-driving car project that developed many initiatives that helped reduce carbon emissions, save people’s time, and prevent traffic accidents by changing the car use algorithm. Therefore, the global automated research encouraged vehicle manufacturers and major suppliers to increase their efforts by collaborating with Silicon Valley and other industry partners [Kohler and Colbert-Taylor, 2015].

Moreover, in their book, Tate and Abkowitz observe improvements of automated vehicle infrastructure. Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (VII) is an important tool that serves to enhance technologies of automated vehicles to their physical surroundings, including electrical engineering, transport engineering, computer science, and automotive engineering. VVI aims to improve road transportation, but it uses similar technologies to other modes of transport [Tate and Abkowitz, 2011]. For example, aircrafts use autopilot that allows pilots to fly the plane automatically, without human interference. Thus, the vehicle infrastructure integration covers both efficiency and safety dealing with the application of several techniques that connect automated vehicles to physical surroundings in order to maintain safety on the roads. Specific applications may possess both advantages and challenges. Thus, some applications may be rather expensive such as the reconstruction of road networks for industrial robotics and public transportation. The authors note that the ideal structuring of the environment can include the reconstruction of highways for exclusively automatic vehicles, and can be vehicle-autonomous [Tate and Abkowitz, 2011]. VVI offers a communication link between the vehicles and infrastructure of the road in order to maintain the safety, convenience, and efficiency of the transportation system. VVI is based on the business model concerning all the participants relating to the transportation industry, professional organizations, and authorities.

This business model relies on three priorities:

  • Evaluation of the technology,
  • Validation of the technology and its costs,
  • Implementation of legal policies that can provide the success of this business model for a long term.

Inderwildi, ‎O., and D. King, Energy, Transport, & the Environment: Addressing the Sustainable Mobility Paradigm (Oxford: Springer, 2012).

In their book, Inderwildi and King suggested that the connected vehicle environment would allow vehicles to communicate with the traffic signal within 300 meters. Today, new traffic control logic, PMSA, uses a modern technology that allows vehicles to communicate even information faster than before. Until recently, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication was rather poor and not able to use high-tech methods; it was limited by turn signals, brake lights, and other functionality. The vehicle-to-infrastructure communication was only able to use highway advisory radio, video detection ramp meters, and traffic signs. Meanwhile, V2I communication system has overcome various changes in the United States; now, it supports wireless communication and data exchange among vehicles and infrastructure. The further development of wireless communication will benefit the safety and mobility of connected vehicles. Nowadays, everybody is responsible for protecting the environment, and connected vehicles technologies allow drivers and managers to make green transportation choices. Improved operations of connected vehicles create more positive environmental realities in congested areas (for example, urban streets). Environmental applications make connected vehicles cause less damage to the environment than the other types of vehicles do. Although, they still are a source of pollution, they can regulate their effect on the environment.

Heck, ‎S., M. Rogers, ‎, and P. Carroll, Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century (New York: Amazon Publishing, 2014).

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In their book, Heck, Rogers, and Carroll state that a number of fatalities as the result of vehicle crashes is still high worldwide because of different reasons such as speed of operation, vehicle design, driver skill, road environment, and behavior. The vehicle crashes often lead to death, disability, and huge financial expenses that are especially obvious in the underdeveloped countries that have bad roads. The research asserts that the highest rate of traffic collisions is observed in Africa (about 24 persons for 100, 00) while the European Union has the lowest death rate because of the vehicle accidents [Heck and others, 2014]. Most experts believe that the new technology used in connected vehicles can improve safety because cars become more connected to the environment and each other. However, connected vehicles possess both benefits and challenges. The main benefit is that they can save people’s life, create jobs, and protect the environment. Remarkably, the United States plays a leading role in the technological innovations that will contribute to the future economic growth. Short and medium range wireless technologies should be protected from unlicensed devices. The policy makers should issue legislation that will protect the transportation industry from harmful interference ensuring security. At present, the V2I communication technology is a core issue for the government in the United States because it affects the development of the domestic auto industry. Therefore, in order to maintain safety and mobility, the legislation should take a step forward towards their improvement. According to different legislative programs such as the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), the Surface Transportation Program (STP), and the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), the government should invest into the vehicles-to-infrastructure system in the nearest future [Heck and others, 2014]. The V2I technology provides better communication alongside roads, including bridges, stop signs, and traffic signals, for example.

Ullrich, G., Automated Guided Vehicle Systems: A Primer with Practical Applications (New York: Springer, 2015).

In his book, Ullrich suggested that the efforts to improving safety, lowering transportation system operation costs, and reducing emissions will lead to a fully integrated system in the future [Ulrich, 2015]. Thus, the Dynamic Mobility Applications initiative is targeting the development of applications that take advantage of the vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-vehicle connectivity by means of data provided by test vehicles and other wireless communication tools. Further research has to study connected vehicles in the future. The author also believes that the core areas include architecture around the vehicle platform and harmonization of international standards aimed to ensure human factors, and interoperability research to collect and analyze data related to the potential risks. The European webinos project is known for developing preventive measures of twenty-two participants with members who are involved in the telecommunications operations, mobile phone companies, research institutions, and car factories. Webinos was designed with the aim to enable web services and applications to be used over various connected devices such as PC, mobile phone, in-vehicle units, and TV.

Meyer, ‎G., and S. Beiker, Road Vehicle Automation (Stanford: Springer, 2014).

The book by Meyerand and Beiker presents the idea how to improve the connected and automated infrastructure. The improvement of safety of connected vehicles is impossible without the improvement of its infrastructure. The Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center (CVI-UTC) offers an advanced research that targets the development of surface infrastructure through using the infrastructure technologies for developing innovations in economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, repair, and livable communities. By improving the connected vehicle infrastructure, University Transportation Center aims to do the following activities:

  • Improve professional knowledge,
  • Increase awareness of the current issues,
  • Enhance the amount of transportation professionals, including drivers, technicians, and so on,
  • Adapt to the new technologies,
  • Involve innovative techniques, processes, and skills of transportation personnel.

Fortunately, due to many reasons, crashes mostly occur accidently, and it is difficult to predict their occurrence, even in the most dangerous locations. To resolve this problem, the authorities involve the community and individuals who became witnesses of the crashes to report to the Police Department. For example, the New York City Police Department gathers information about traffic crashes via their website where witnesses can leave messages about a crash. This program requires the witnesses to point out the location, date, and an account of the incident. However, this program did not achieve desirable results because the participation of the public is very slow.

Aström, ‎K. J., and R. M. Murray, Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).

In their book, Aström and Murray stated that automated vehicles include connected and automated technologies that will substitute all the existing technologies in the future. For example, to have a fully automated vehicle, it must also be a connected one. As mentioned above, connected vehicles present vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication to maintain warnings to drivers to avoid traffic collisions. They can also include traffic congestion, traffic signal status, and construction warnings. An automated vehicle (AV) has advanced sensor such as cameras, LIDAR, radar, computing abilities that can activate the acceleration, breaking, and steering without input. Remarkably, both technologies were designed to improve the efficiency and safety of transportation and prevent transportation crashes. AVs include safety control functions such as throttle, steering, or braking without driver participation. Automated vehicles can be either connected or autonomous that use vehicle sensors. Both of them benefit from connectivity that is implemented in these vehicles. They also stated that automated vehicles made a transportation revolution because these self-driving or robotic cars that can fulfill all functions of a traditional connected vehicle [Aström and Murray, 2010]. AVs can navigate all functions of a car without human input. The authors also stated that the vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure serves to provide a direct link between all cars on the road within their vicinity. It can be achieved through communication of all vehicles with each other, showing driver’s intentions, speed, and orientation. This activity can considerably increase safety and sensitivity of the overall VVI system. For instance, when the vehicle tends to perform an emergency maneuver such as braking, decelerating, or steering, the system can enforce it to do it effectively. Moreover, the system allows automated vehicles to communicate with the whole highway infrastructure, for example, to receive current traffic information and feedback. The authors report that VVI applications can easily identify markings on or along the roads using sensors that encourage vehicles to adjust their operation according to them [Aström and Murray, 2010].

Rifkin, J., The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

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In his book, Rifkin reported that autonomous vehicles check the environment, in which they move by means of computer vision, LEDAR, radar, and GPS [Rifkin, 2011]. They present advanced control systems that help them navigate appropriately passing any obstacles. In order to improve their operation, vehicles are required to update their sensor maps to maintain a safety path even in the unchartered environments. The idea of autonomous cars is not new, and it goes back to the 1920s, but the first truly autonomous car was developed in the 1980s. In 1987, the further production of autonomous vehicles was initiated by Bundeswehr University and Mercedes-Benz in Munich, Germany [Rifkin, 2011]. In his book, Rifkin explores how the driver’s behavior affects safety and how removing driver from a vehicle may reduce the risk of crash collisions on the roads. He also stated that the degree of automation determines driver’s involvement in the driving loop. Partial automation helps improve the traffic flow characteristics, but it cannot guarantee absolute safety in the longitudinal direction. However, full automation can benefit the safety, traffic flow, and capacity on the roads. Moreover, the replacement of a driver from a fully automated vehicle can considerably improve safety because of numerous reasons. For example, electronic sensors cannot be influenced by fatigue, distraction, or tiredness; they are more reliable than any human actions. Furthermore, the reaction of a human driver is much lower than the one of actuators. Various driver behaviors influence the quality of driving while an automated vehicle immediately responds to the controllers and provides a much smoother traffic flow.

Gilbert, ‎R., and A. Pearl, Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil (Sterling: Earthscan, 2012).

In their book, Gilbert and Pearl explore human performance by means of automation technologies, communication, and advanced sensing. All these safety tools are able to improve the safety and decrease the severity and frequency of traffic crashes on the highways. They also consider that automated vehicles experience two times fewer traffic crashes than connected vehicles. AVs are more prone to enhance awareness than CVs for drivers who experience difficulties with expecting and judging the environment, especially in bad weather or darkness. Cameras, Lidar, radar, and other sensors help drivers detect the distance from other vehicles, pedestrians, and other objects in order to prevent a dangerous situation. In-vehicle sensors provide warning signals to drivers immediately. In many situations, AVs help drivers avoid crashes by assistant maneuvers such as lane change assistance or automated braking. This function, named the avoidance control, eliminates driver’s error, including poor driving experience, fault decision making, or inattention, for example. Automated vehicles of the higher level (3 and up) operate without human interference and can eliminate human factor to 100 percent. It can be the best solution for older drivers and disabled people, who may be limited in their movements or other capacities. The authors assume that nowadays, everybody is responsible for protecting the environment, and the connected vehicles technologies allow drivers and managers make green transportation choices. The American Public Transportation Association reports that annually, transportation systems tend to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases by approximately 16.2 million tons [Gilbert and Pearl, 2012].

Research Methodology

Research Philosophy

This study will cover the high scope in order to enhance the safety, mobility, and environment protection. To reach this goal, the study will incorporate the interpretive perspective that relies on the secondary data to determine the relevance of the research. By providing numerous interpretations, this theory will give the opportunity to validate the outcomes that need further investigation. The core question here is to find out the truth that can be applicable to certain circumstances in the transportation industry. Worldwide, the transportation system is one of the main sources of the economy because it maintains the transportation of goods locally and internationally. In order to make transportation safe, considerable improvements are needed in the whole system of connectivity.

The main objective of this study will be to determine the solution that can be applied to the safety of connected and automated vehicles concerning the international perspective. It can be appreciated that the United States of America constantly improve a connected vehicle network in order to enable safety and mobility, as well as protect the environment from carbon emissions [Meyer and Beiker, 2014]. Applications used in vehicles maintain crash prevention to all system users, improve traffic, parking data, transit, and allow regulating the transportation systems. Thus, the content analysis will not be limited by the geographical location but rather by technical risks and institutional risks that can affect the transportation systems and liability [Ullrich, 2015]. Globalization requires the cooperation of different countries for establishing a partnership in sustainability, safety, personal mobility, commercial operations, and cross-cutting issues. Therefore, this study will be able to predict that new technological applications will help improve the quality of modern vehicles enhancing the safety and mobility, as well as protecting the environment.

Content Analysis

In order to fulfill the research objectives, this research will use a descriptive content analysis. The keywords are connected, automated, vehicles, safety, applications, transportation system. A content analysis is aimed at collecting and analyzing the relevant and valid data in the new context of innovation of connected and automated vehicles in the global environment. The main assumption is that the new technology allows vehicles to communicate information faster than before and prevent traffic crashes. New technologies used in automated vehicles allow protecting the environment by the reduction of air emissions because they do not fuel. The researcher should determine the benefits of automated vehicles over the other modes of transportation, and their attractiveness to consumers. This study will be conducted taking into account different perspectives by utilizing a vast range of literature focusing on the perspectives of the connected and automated vehicles in the coming decades. The study will be based on the scientific research, in which content analysis is more relevant. After collecting and analyzing the data, the interpretation may be provided that will lead to the determination of the findings in compliance with future findings.

The researcher will aim to find the solution for the utility of connected and automated vehicles in the global perspective. It means that, based on the global analysis, technology trends are going to improve significantly in 2015 [Kohler and Colbert-Taylor, 2015]. Modern innovations in the transportation industry deal with the energy analytics, cyber-security services, value-adding services, and other options that should be thoroughly protected from the Internet hackers. Automated vehicles made a transportation revolution because these self-driving or robotic cars could fulfill all functions of a traditional connected vehicle. The main benefit of this study is that it proves that connected and automated vehicles can save people’s life, create jobs, and improve environment. Therefore, the industry software that is driven by robust information systems may become the main target of competitors. As such, the study has no limitations related to a specific region; rather, it will take the global perspectives.

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Justification for the Method of Data Collection

The method of data collection will be used in this study because it helps gathering the information relevant to the research aim in order to observe benefits and problems of connected and automated vehicles. It will allow the researcher to make reasonable conclusions from investigating the research problem by utilizing professional literature and interviews. Many people look forward to using automated vehicles in every-day life; however, they are not affordable to the majority of the population because of their high price. The point here is to identify in what way connected and automated vehicles improve the safety, mobility, and environment. Moreover, the connection between vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) should be identified; it may improve the whole process of automation and safety on the roads. The study will use liable methods that encourage the researcher to collect and analyze the secondary data in the current period in the transportation industry.

Data Analysis and Interpretation of Results

The issue of benefits and problems of automated and connected vehicles is something new to the researcher who tried to interpret the findings and analyze the data. As such, the researcher has arrived at the conclusion that the new technologies provided communicative applications that allowed vehicles to communicate wirelessly with the other vehicles and infrastructure. These technologies reduce traffic crashes, give more information to travelers, provide a better view of the transportation system’s performance and reduced emissions. Approaches to these two technologies differ from each other; however, they present similar challenges to the transportation system. They can differ in many ways that create both benefits and challenges.

The research is going to prove that there are benefits and potential problems of automated and connected vehicles relating to automated transit, modeling implications, regional planning, truck automation, human factors, commercialization of automation, digital infrastructure, roadway management, physical infrastructure, and shared mobility, as well as roadmap maturity and performance. However, the existing challenges show that higher levels of automation are needed in the future; this issue can considerably improve the level of transportation in the world. In the upcoming years, new technologies are predicted to be largely implemented in connected and automated vehicles in order to enhance safety conditions, preserve the environment from pollution, reduce the energy consumption, and optimize of the transportation networks.