Cities urged to be part of “transport revolution” | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Cities urged to be part of “transport revolution”

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A new report is warning that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will only transform our roads and boost the smart city initiative if cities play their part in driving a transport revolution.

The design, engineering and project management consultancy, Atkins says the adoption of CAV will bring about a steep-change in transport innovation by creating opportunities for improved efficiency and safety, reduced congestion and emissions as well as improved road design, while generating huge social and tangible economic benefits to the UK.

It says UK cities will be expected to provide some of the vital building blocks required for the country to fully exploit CAV technology and bolster the automotive sector.  This will range from the testing of autonomous vehicles to developing an understanding of user needs.  To remain at the forefront of this new market, cities must prepare their infrastructure to better support improved connectivity and autonomous technology in road vehicles that will fundamentally change how people move and interact with their surroundings.

The report, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Introducing the future of mobility, breaks down what cities will need to consider in the implementation of CAVs, such as its impact on existing intelligent transport systems and the investment needed in communication technologies.  Cities will be required to provide the digital infrastructure for connected vehicles to successfully operate on roads in addition to making considerations for data capture and exploitation; cyber security requirements; and building relevant partnerships with businesses.

Furthermore, the study outlines the major areas of consideration for the successful exploitation of this new technology, which it identifies as the ‘Four Ts’:

  • Test – Independent validation of CAV solutions in a real world environment is fundamental to understanding the capability and safety factors;
  • Trust – People must believe and trust the technology they are using. CAVs must be safe, secured and valued by the consumer;
  • Transport – Key questions that must be addressed relate to the infrastructure investment needed and the data intelligence that can be garnered for a transport operator; and
  • Time – For the UK to create a competitive advantage it is imperative there is steady and sustained investment in this area.

Dr John McCarthy, Atkins’ technical director and author of the report, commented: “The potential benefits of CAVs are immense.  As we struggle with building more roads and lanes to meet capacity, emerging and disruptive technologies offer a proactive and dynamic approach to meeting these challenges.  The UK has a real opportunity to secure a share of the global market in this rapidly growing industry.  It is important now more than ever for us to understand the risks and opportunities it opens up and how we can link this new world to present day operations that will allow us to drive economic growth and deliver a positive customer experience”.

The report can be read here.


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