Connected and Automated Vehicles

General CAV Technology

Connected and automated technology is progressing rapidly. It is the department’s mission to be prepared and assist our stakeholders in preparing for each of those elements of new technology that are in cars today and more advanced automated driving systems that are coming to our roadways.

While some advanced driver-assistance systems like adaptive cruise control are in widespread use today, many other technologies are inherent in the operation of Connected Vehicles, Automated Vehicles, and Connected and Automated Vehicles.

  • Connected Vehicles (CVs) can communicate with other CVs, infrastructure, “the cloud,” and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. CVs supply useful data to the driver to help make safer or more informed decisions.
  • Automated Vehicles (AVs; sometimes referred to as autonomous vehicles), can use cameras and on-board sensors such as radar and Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) to operate in isolation from other vehicles. Aspects of the driving functions, such as steering, braking, etc. can occur without driver input. AVs gain synergies from being “connected” but are not reliant on those connections for operation; when AVs are “connected,” they can be considered a Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV). Different levels of driving automation have been defined by SAE International.
Image showing an automated vehicle and connected vehicle with a connected automated vehicle

  • V2V – Vehicle to Vehicle communication
  • V2I – Vehicle to Infrastructure communication
  • V2P – Vehicle to Pedestrian communication
  • V2X – Vehicle to Everything communication

  • Intelligent Transportation System
    Integrated system to connect transportation technologies for safety, traffic management and operational efficiencies.
  • Red-light running detection
    When available will detect vehicles entering an intersection against the traffic light and warn other vehicles that have the right-of-way.
  • One-way driver detection
    Systems can detect when a vehicle has entered a freeway traveling in the wrong direction. Systems can alert the driver via flashing signs or deploy law enforcement to intercept the vehicle before a crash occurs.
  • Traffic Control Centers
    Will have the ability to send out localized weather warnings, traffic alerts or incident warnings. Can dispatch first responders to crash sites for prompt response and removal of disabled vehicles which can cause more crashes due to driver distractions. Some vehicles can receive traffic information via the vehicle navigation system.
  • Work zone location and travel condition information - 511 Wisconsin
    Information on work zones, weather conditions on the roadways, special events, travel assistance, rest areas, trucking permits and more is available on mobile transportation apps such as WAZE and WisDOT’s site. Work zone information is available from:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking
    This feature can sense slow or stopped traffic ahead and urgently apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond.
  • Lane Centering Assist
    Monitors lane lines where visible to alert a driver when the vehicle is at the edge of the driving lane. Can provide vibration alert or actively steer the vehicle back into the lane.
  • Bicycle Detection
    This is a warning feature that alerts drivers when a bicycle has been detected. Some systems can only detect bicyclists when traveling directly in front of the vehicle and when moving in the same direction.
  • Forward Collision Warning
    Forward collision warning can alert the driver of an impending collision with a slower moving or stationary car in front of the driver.
  • Left Turn Crash Avoidance
    This feature monitors traffic when the driver turns left across traffic at low speeds (such as at a traffic light). The car will automatically brake if it detects the vehicle is turning in front of a car.
  • Obstacle Detection
    Can sense slow-moving or stationary objects when driving at low speeds. Some may even brake to avoid obstacles. This feature activates at slow speeds and will provide warnings of impending collisions. For some versions, it will brake the car automatically.
  • Pedestrian Detection
    Uses advanced sensors to detect human movements; some versions may urgently apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond.
  • Curve Speed Warning
    Warns the driver when the vehicle is approaching a curve or exit on the road too quickly. Some versions of this feature can coordinate with a database of high-risk curves and exits to alert drivers to take extra caution.
  • High Speed Alert
    An alert that sounds if the driver is speeding. This feature coordinates the vehicle’s position, via GPS, with a database of speed limit information to alert drivers if they are speeding. This helps drivers maintain a safe driving speed. Newer versions may use a camera to read speed limit signs.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
    Not only maintains the vehicle set speed but following distance as well; provides some limited braking.