Rhode Island issues RFI for CAVs and next-generation transportation systems


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) from companies with expertise in connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and other technologies.

The intent of the RFI is to start a process that puts Rhode Island in a position to become a leader in developing the transportation systems of the future. The RFI will start the process for RIDOT to identify and meet the substantial technical, regulatory and practical challenges associated with the implementation of CAV technologies.

Companies submitting proposals will also be asked to share other innovative next-generation ideas, such as on-demand ride sharing, high speed intercity and inter-suburb transporter technology, among others.

In the RFI, RIDOT is seeking information about:

• Opportunities for partnerships;

• Impact on the state’s capital planning and execution process;

• Regional safety programs, including law enforcement and security;

• Environmental conditions;

• State laws and regulation;

• Workforce and professional training needs within the state.

Respondents are encouraged to submit proposals for a proof of concept pilot CAV or on-demand ride sharing service deployment in Rhode Island that would support and/or resolve issues included in the six topic areas. Submissions are due back to RIDOT in mid-July.

The RFI process is the first step for RIDOT to build long-term relationships with partners and stakeholders in the CAV community. Once the submissions have been received and evaluated, RIDOT will invite responders to participate in an Expo, where all parties can learn more about each other, and start to move the planning process forward to prepare for revolutionary changes in transportation.

“Cars as we know them are changing already, but we’re on the cusp of changes in the way we travel that will truly be groundbreaking,” noted RIDOT’s director, Peter Alviti. “In keeping with the philosophy of RhodeWorks, the inclusion of CAV into our future projects will help promote future job creation in an evolving technology, and further economic development that modern infrastructure will bring to the state.”

RIDOT’s chief operating officer, Shoshana Lew, added, “This is a time of rapid innovation in the automotive sector, as products adapt to develop and incorporate new technology, and meet changing consumer demand. There is an opportunity to help integrate that conversation with infrastructure planning and execution. Rhode Island can be a place where we help bring those threads together.”

Governor Gina Raimondo said, “By launching this process, we will be prepared to make best use of new and emerging technologies.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).