Considerations for Deploying Automated Driving Systems Around Schools

Source: Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC)

Areas around schools, including the campus and surrounding streets, present a difficult design challenge for developers of automated driving systems. The inconsistency of traffic conditions and procedures, an increased density of traffic during peak times, and frequent interactions with student pedestrians in school zones presents a difficult design challenge for ADS. It is imperative that ADS developers understand and address these characteristics before ADS are deployed in school zones so appropriate technology, design, and regulatory approaches can be implemented. To date, there has been no coordinated effort to assess the unique challenges of deploying ADS in school zones or to systematically identify relevant research gaps, and there is little guidance for AV developers regarding school zones.

This white paper is intended for audiences developing ADS technologies designed to navigate through or in the vicinity of school zones. It may also be beneficial to a variety of stakeholders in communities affected by those deployments. It summarizes the challenges of ADS deployment from technical, policy, infrastructure, and educational perspectives, and stakeholders will gain a general understanding to inform conversations before ADS are deployed broadly near schools. The result of the research is a set of ten recommendations that highlight the variety of challenges that will need to be addressed by ADS developers and local stakeholders prior to broad deployment.

Interviews with school transportation experts at multiple sites informed the research and recommendations, and helped identify themes at the intersection of ADS deployment and transportation issues in and around school zones.

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