Mid America States plan future of automated vehicles

​Release date: October 22, 2020

Mid America states are planning for the future of automated vehicle technology at the 2020 CAV Summit. The virtual gathering to discuss the many challenges of adopting connected and automated vehicle technology (CAV) was hosted by the Mid America Association of Transportation Officials (MAASTO) Oct. 22 – 23.

“When we hear 'automated vehicles,' we tend to think about the self-driving cars of the future," said Craig Thompson, MAASTO President and Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation (WisDOT). “But CAV technology is here today, and it's going to have a major impact on the way we move people and goods."

“The MAASTO region includes some of the country's most important transportation corridors, so our cooperation and sharing on these issues will impact how the entire nation benefits from CAV," Thompson said.

“The Midwest has proven to be a leader in innovation and this summit is a great opportunity for states to collaborate and plan for the future," said Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Minnesota Department of Transportation. “Minnesota is proud to chair the MAASTO CAV Committee and help demonstrate how regions can effectively partner on research and corridor planning. This is especially important because the Midwest is the central hub of transportation for the entire country."

The two-day event gave MAASTO members an opportunity to review and react to the draft CAV workplan developed by the CAV Subcommittee and approved by the MAASTO board last month. Some of the issues on the agenda included:​

  • Development of model legislation and regulations to ensure consistent regulation of CAV technology across state lines.
  • Cooperating on research and development with academic and industry researchers.
  • Establishing regional policy recommendations to ensure that CAV vehicles are safe for other motorists and pedestrians.
  • Ensuring that the benefits of CAV technology are accessible to all.

MAASTO's CAV work plan includes 25 strategies, from researching the impact of CAV on long-range transportation planning to coordinating with federal, state and local governments and law enforcement. The CAV initiative was launched at the first MAASTO CAV Summit, which was hosted by WisDOT in 2019.

MAASTO's mission is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated and balanced transportation system that adequately serves the transportation needs of its member states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. It is affiliated with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Learn more about MAASTO.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov