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Cooperative Driving Automation

What Is Cooperative Driving Automation and CARMA?

Automated Vehicles Working Together

With a multimodal approach, CARMASM was developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to encourage collaboration and to improve transportation safety, efficiency, and mobility. Automation is transforming the transportation system and enhancing the mobility of millions of Americans. FHWA's focus is on how infrastructure can move traffic more efficiently by advancing transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) strategies.

Cooperative driving automation (CDA) enables automated vehicles (AVs) to communicate between vehicles, infrastructure devices, and road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. CDA has the potential to advance transportation efficiency, facilitate freight movement, increase productivity, and reduce the need for roadway facilities, therefore, saving billions of dollars. CDA also has the potential to reduce crashes caused by human error and save lives. The CDA research focuses on AVs working together and with roadway infrastructure will increase safety and improve operational efficiency by:

  • Reducing fuel consumption at intersections by 20 percent.
  • Doubling capacity of existing lanes.
  • Saving fuel by 10 percent.

What are the CARMA Tools?

The CARMA PlatformSM is an open-source software (OSS) platform initiated by FHWA to enable the testing and evaluation of cooperative automation concepts to improve safety and increase infrastructure efficiency. The platform provides vehicles with the functions needed for automation and facilitates the development of new TSMO strategies while identifying TSMO scenarios that would benefit from CDA. CARMA CloudSM enables the roadway to communicate with AVs and to provide information that supports safe operation of new TSMO strategies. Many CDA scenarios are being studied, including freeway basic travel, Traffic Incident Management (TIM), work zones, weather, intersections, and arterial management.

CARMA was designed using OSS and is available on GitHub. By simplifying software development and providing access to increased functionality and a community of developers, CARMA enables the research and development (R&D) of CDA features on properly equipped AVs, setting the foundation for interoperability across vehicle make and model, as well as the safe introduction of the technology on the Nation’s roads.

What Is the CARMA Collaborative?

CARMA is a collaborative environment and the program works with academic institutions to conduct research and testing. The CARMA Collaborative initiative was established to bridge the gaps between different stakeholder groups including academia, Government, the technical industry, and private businesses or associations supporting AVs and infrastructure improvements to the U.S. transportation system.

CARMA is a multimodal effort between FHWA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS-JPO), and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. The agencies facilitate collaboration, research, and testing in cooperative automation, and advance automation on our Nation’s transportation system.

More Information

To learn more about the evolution of CARMA and opportunities to collaborate, please visit our CARMA Platform page, collaboration pageGitHub site, and Confluence site.

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Find out how CARMA’s flexible and open-source architecture was designed.

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