PennDOT Unveils AV Survey, Disburses Multimodal Funding

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is conducting a survey for the state’s Highly Automated Vehicle or HAV Advisory Committee designed to “gain an understanding” of the perceptions and knowledge of automated vehicles among state residents.

[Above photo by PennDOT.]

The HAV Advisory Committee – established by Act 117 of 2018 – is a partnership between public and private key stakeholders that advises and consults with PennDOT’s secretary on each aspect of connected and highly automated vehicles. This includes developing technical guidance, evaluating best practices, and reviewing existing laws, regulations, and policies.

Yassmin Gramian. Photo by PennDOT.

“Automated vehicle technology is rapidly advancing, and many features are already available in newer vehicles,” explained Yassmin Gramian, PennDOT’s secretary, in a statement. “It is important that the department understands how Pennsylvanians feel about this technology, to help us shape our education and communication focus going forward.”

Meanwhile, the department is providing 43 highway, bridge, rail, bicycle, and pedestrian projects in 21 Pennsylvania counties with $45.9 million in funding through the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.

“Transportation moves communities and economies forward,” explained Governor Tom Wolf (D) in a statement. “These investments will assist with overall mobility and safety in our local communities.”

Reflecting the state’s commitment to improving local infrastructure, several of the projects help local governments improve roadways, address pedestrian and accessibility concerns, while fixing bridges in need of repair or replacement.

Photo by PennDOT

“Investing in our communities continues to be critical to moving the economy forward in 2021,” added PennDOT’s Gramian – noting that the application period for the next round of multimodal grants opens in September.

“Making roadways more accessible for all modes of travel assures that we are making continued business connections for the future and keeps transportation an integral part of daily living,” she said.

Eligible applicants include municipalities, council of governments, business/non-profit organizations, economic development organizations, public transportation agencies, public airports, airport authorities, and ports and rail entities. To win funds through the program, multimodal projects coordinate local land use with transportation assets to enhance existing communities, PennDOT noted.

In August 2020, Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Commission updated the state’s 12-year multimodal investment program; predicting that $64.8 billion will be available to improve roads, bridges, transit systems, airports, and railroads to improve economic opportunities and the quality of life for state residents.

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