The Minnesota Governor’s Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles said in its annual report Monday that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the state was able to move forward toward readiness for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV).
The annual report found that while public and in-person events were put on hold during 2020 due to the pandemic, the Advisory Council was able to convene virtually and to launch the CAV Innovation Alliance, which will coordinate emerging technologies statewide and serve as a one-stop-shop in Minnesota for CAV.
The report noted that the state was able to test new cellular vehicle communications technologies that connect snowplows and avoid collisions by preventing red-light running. Additionally, the Advisory Council completed a 10-year investment plan for fiberoptic cable that will support CAVs and broadband and conducted the nation’s largest CAV survey to determine the attitudes Minnesotans’ have about CAVs. The survey is part of the state’s planning efforts for the “Minnesota Strategic CAV Messaging and Engagement Plan,” scheduled for completion in 2021.
Other activities included kicking off the state’s first CAV corridor planning effort with communities along Highway 52 from Rochester to St. Paul and integrating CAV technology into snowplows to alert drivers when they’re coming upon a plow which allows drivers to avoid crashes by “seeing” the plows in snowy conditions.
The report was part of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order 19-18 that continued the Advisory Council originally established under former Gov. Mark Dayton to study, assess and prepare the state for the challenges and opportunities associated with the widespread adoption of CAV and other transportation technologies.