• Transportation Equity for RITI Communities in Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Environment: Opportunities and Barriers

      Sorour, Sameh; Abdel-Rahim, Ahmed; Swoboda-Colberg, Skye (2020-08)
      This report summarizes the results of a study conducted to document the safety and mobility needs of Rural, Isolated, Tribal, or Indigenous (RITI) communities and to identify autonomous and connected vehicle technology that have the potential of addressing these needs. A review of the administrative structure for the five Native American Tribes in Idaho revealed that none of the tribes has a department dedicated to transportation services. Two of the five tribes, however, have a department dedicated to Information Technology (IT) services. Based on the results of focus group discussions and the follow up in-depth interviews, some of the major transportation safety and mobility problems and need areas for RITI communities include: safety of school-age children walking to school, lack of safety pedestrians facilities (sidewalks) in the community, inefficient emergency response services, issues with paratransit scheduling and reliability of service, roadway maintenance issues, aggressive driving in community roadways, struggle of low-income families with no car ownership, snow removal and clean up especially for local roads, and not having enough driver education programs available for the community. In terms of major barriers to Autonomous and Connected Vehicle implementation in RITI communities, the interviewed citizens believe that lack of communication infrastructures, cost of smart phone use, difficulties to use internet and/or smart phones, lack of electrical power coverage in some roadway areas, privacy and safety issues in car sharing operations, cost of expanding communication and power networks, and the lack of human resources in the community to support these technologies are some of the major barriers to the wide-spread implementation of such advanced technology.