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32 Further research in several areas could increase the transit industryâs capacity to plan for and manage LSAVs. This research could help facilitate planning and implementation for more automated services; provide insight into the evolution and deployment of LSAV service; capture best practices, including those for maximizing accessibility and equity; and illuminate how best to monitor and evaluate LSAV services. 6.1 Baseline Survey of LSAV Planning and Implementation Given the apparent increasing interest in LSAVs among public transit agencies, a baseline survey of transit agency planning and implementation would be useful. Surveys would document both the interest in LSAVs and the state of play. To gain a broader perspective, cities, MPOs, and state departments of transportation should be surveyed to capture how each is incorporating LSAVs in planning and funding activities. 6.2 Performance Requirements for LSAVs Given that neither ODDs nor technology is static, research is required to assess appropriate minimum performance standards for LSAVs in public transportation. Vehicle technologies vary and their capabilities can change with shifts in the operating environment or sensor degradation. Research to inform safe operations could therefore include the development of vehicle or perfor- mance standards relevant to varying ODDs, assessment of data recorders and data analytic tools (e.g., on-board diagnostic tools), and training for operators in assessing technology and ODD considerations. 6.3 Accessibility, ADA Standards, Equity, and Universal Design Research is needed to inventory LSAV sponsorsâ and operatorsâ strategies to comply with the ADA, to understand how well these strategies are achieving equivalent levels of accessibility, to identify approaches that address design and assistive technology for persons with mobility and communications disabilities, and to expand on-demand transportation to all users of para- transit. This research could also extend to equity of access for LSAVs and other automated public transportation services. Considerations include socioeconomic factors, environmental justice, and underserved communities. Both public and private providers and operators should be examined. Best practices may be identified through a review of initiatives undertaken by C H A P T E R 6 Areas for Further Research
Areas for Further Research 33 industry, states, and U.S. DOT to stimulate barrier-free vehicle design and related infrastructure, as well as to expand access. A survey, along with interviews, could help LSAV providers and other related transportation practitioners understand strategies to improve accessibility, adapt vehicles to ADA standards, ensure equity of access, and promote universal design of vehicles and related infrastructure. In the short term, LSAV manufacturers and operators would benefit from more access to online training materials and other training opportunities. These would guide providers in planning wheelchair-accessible services or HMIs to improve access for those with a cognitive, visual, and/or auditory impairment. 6.4 Resource Centers for Best Practices and Research With estimates that each LSAV generates up to 20 terabytes of data daily, project partners have little guidance on what data are relevant to understanding and assessing this new tech- nology. Most public agencies seek data about incidents, ridership, and consumer acceptance, but vendors vary in their responsiveness to these requests. There are no national standards governing what LSAV data must be shared. Transit agencies and other public transportation providers need further guidance about and access to data sharing, insurance, accessibility, regulatory standards, risk management and safety practices, procurement and contracting, and related planning initiatives for LSAV and other automated transit projects. A research entity or a transit association should establish a curated knowledge management resource center featuring best practices for LSAV studies and plans across a range of topics. 6.5 Measurement and Assessment of LSAV Services This research yielded several ideas relating to valuation of LSAVs as either a public or a private transportation service. Further research is needed to determine whether, when, and how LSAV projects can become shared-use services that are sustainable and help communities achieve their objectives. Research topics could include â¢ Effective ways to assess the accessibility and mobility benefits provided by LSAVs. â¢ Potential ridership of LSAVs and the ridership impacts on existing higher-capacity transit services. â¢ Whether and how to compare LSAV service with other modal and service options in alterna- tives analyses. â¢ Assessment of methodologies to evaluate customer satisfaction and consumer acceptance of an LSAV service. â¢ Assessment of LSAV operating costs and potential cost savings from areas such as reductions in property loss, mortality, and morbidity. â¢ Assessment of best practices and benefits related to effective LSAV security practices, including cybersecurity. â¢ Assessment of effective performance and evaluation metrics for LSAV projects. 6.6 Infrastructure Improvements for More Effective LSAV Applications Research could define how infrastructure (physical and digital) can improve the efficacy of LSAV applications. LSAV projects are often premised on the need for limited modification of
34 Low-Speed Automated Vehicles (LSAVs) in Public Transportation physical infrastructure; reliance on connected infrastructure; and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-anything (V2X) applications. Topics could include â¢ Best curbside management practices for wayfaring, accessibility, congestion management, and accessible pick-up and drop-off. â¢ Maintenance on existing infrastructure to facilitate automated vehicle technology capabilities. â¢ Opportunities to allow higher operating speeds and enhanced safety through dedicated lanes and elevated guideways. â¢ Potential to enhance LSAV efficiency, speed, and safety through connected technologies. â¢ Value and best practices in the use of existing or new multimodal paths or trails for mixed- or single-mode use.