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Automated Transportation Industry Continues With Great Progress During Challenging Times
One of the most important Automated Transportation events of the year happens every summer—if you haven’t had a chance, I encourage you to explore the recently posted sessions from the Automated Vehicles Symposium. The virtual program is now available on-demand, and the sessions provided great insight into the current developments and status of automated transportation systems. This symposium, combined with other positive updates from the converging industries that are delivering automated driving systems (ADS), leaves little doubt that the industry is making great strides during these challenging times. Again, proving that even in a period of extreme disruption, some positive progress can be made. What does this mean for the transportation technology infrastructure, Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) manufacturers, and stakeholders who must deliver on much of the continued growth in the definition, requirements, standards, and deployment of ADS technology? It means that during these extraordinary times, the societal benefits are so important that we continue to make progress even during the most challenging of circumstances. This shows the criticality of the mission, as well as the continued passion and commitment of the industry members—in a world that has halted or altered many mobility providers' roadmaps and deployment time horizons, automated transportation systems continue to progress.
There are incremental deployments of ADS and CAV technologies that are finding their way into practical applications—providing much-needed communication and data services for infrastructure owners and operators (IOO)s, vehicle, fleet operators, and delivery systems—during these challenging times. These deployments are also providing a scalable and repeatable methodology for transportation technology solutions that bring together the best of Intelligent Transportation, automation, and IT systems. Groups like the Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) Coalition are beginning to show real progress in SPaT Challenge, Connected Fleet, and now Connected Intersection technology during this pandemic. Coming out of this pandemic and economic downturn, hopefully, with clarity from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Automobile Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) on defined wireless communications systems and protocols, the deployments can build on these pioneering efforts and fulfill the goals of Automated Transportation Systems to decrease fatalities, crashes, and increase efficiencies and mobility for all, with a focused and prioritized set of technology solutions that enable more equitable mobility access for all disadvantaged citizens and communities.
This pandemic has also displayed the disparity in equal access to remote healthcare, education, and the ability to work from home due to a lack of broadband services. This creates a diverse user community in urban, as well as rural, areas that could benefit from a broadband communications system which not only provides the requirements necessary to deliver automated transportation systems, but also provides shared broadband services for education, healthcare, and remote working for those who need it. It would also remove another barrier for progress in providing more equality for disadvantaged citizens and communities. We look forward optimistically to the opportunities that the technologies and applications driving Automated Transportation will provide for mobility and society as a whole.
1. Global Mobility as a Service Market 2020-2030 - Increasing Urbanization and Smart City Initiatives are Major Growth Drivers
The Story: While the growth projections for many markets have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) market is expected to continue to grow as Smart City initiatives and increasing urbanization influence the demand for services such as ride-hailing, car-sharing, micro-mobility, bus sharing, etc., which include CAV.
The Takeaway: According to the European Commission, the smart cities project market is expected to exceed USD 2.00 trillion by 2025, with Europe speculated to have the highest investment globally. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm, Berlin, and Helsinki have already initiated the development of smart city platforms. Besides Smart City initiatives, other factors driving the MaaS market include improving 4G/5G infrastructure and penetration of smartphones, and the need for reduced CO2 emissions. However, the integration of various MaaS stakeholders and limited internet connectivity in developing countries will restrict the MaaS market in the coming years.
2. Autonomous Vehicles - What Should Local Agencies Expect?
The Story: Infrastructure stakeholders and professional groups locally and nationally have invested time and money to research how to implement connected and automated vehicles (CAV), but local agencies do not have the time or a reliable local repository for keeping track of all the research that is taking place nationwide.
The Takeaway: A new research project looks to answer some compelling questions.
Additionally, the project team will review and synthesize two recently completed studies, funded by the Local Road Research Board: Preparing Local Agencies for the Future of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, and How Locals Need To Prepare for the Future of V2V/V2I Connected Vehicles.
3. State Initiative to Design 'Road of the Future' Connecting Detroit and Ann Arbor
The Story: A first-of-its-kind connected and automated vehicle (CAV) corridor will improve transportation across Southeast Michigan and continue Michigan’s leadership in smart infrastructure and future mobility. A key goal of the project will be to design the corridor with a focus on closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation across the region.
The Takeaway: The vision for the corridor is intended to create lanes that are purpose-built to accelerate and enhance the full potential of CAVs and move people. To achieve this, Cavnue will work with regional partners to plan, design, and develop the world’s most sophisticated roadway, combining innovations in physical, digital, coordination, and operational infrastructure to help increase the safety, efficiency, resilience, and operations of roadways, and improve the mobility experience for users by enabling a faster and more coordinated dedicated autonomous mobility corridor. At its core, the project is designed to be “future-proofed” and evolve to meet transportation goals, beginning with connected buses and shared mobility vehicles such as vans and shuttles, and expanding to additional types of CAVs such as freight and personal vehicles.
4. Ford Trials Tech to Help Foresee Traffic Incidents; Connects Cars and Sensors to Improve Road Safety
The Story: Ford Mobility is working alongside partners including Oxfordshire County Council, AI sensor specialists Vivacity Labs, and leading academics from Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre, with support from Transport for London. The aim is to develop the tool into a solution that could benefit cities and road users around the world. The initiative has now received financial backing from Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation fund.
The Takeaway: The Data-Driven Road Safety Tool will analyze information from connected vehicles, smart roadside sensors, and local-authority data to predict the likely locations and possible root causes of potential road safety hotspots. The insights will enable cities to take pre-emptive action to address roads and junctions that pose the highest risks to road users.
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5. Developing Smart Cities Takes a Convergence of People and Technology
The Story: A futuristic smart city, complete with intelligent cameras, autonomous vehicles, and sensors galore, is closer than ever before – and cities that use smart technology stand to save money, improve public health, and become hyper-efficient in their use of space.
The Takeaway: Connected ecosystems are a mix of different technology innovations, and it will take a combination of technologies, including automated vehicle ecosystems, camera-monitored crosswalks, traffic lights, and sensors embedded in the ground to truly create a smart space. These technologies generate and process a large amount of data that needs to move freely within a smart city ecosystem, so a strong data storage system and network for its transportation are equally as critical as the smart technology itself.
The North Florida Smart Region Coalition’s entry for the Smart Cities Council’s Readiness Challenge included projects like autonomous vehicles and self-driving shuttles, dynamic stoplights that adjust to traffic conditions, as well as street lights that brighten as people pass by and dim again to conserve energy. With a consortium of more than 100 public agencies, nonprofits, and businesses working to bring smart technologies to Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, these concepts mark the beginning of a much broader effort.
CAVita is a strategic consultancy focused on connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) that was formed in 2015 by seasoned and highly respected ITS industry executives Abbas Mohaddes and Peter Sweatman to provide public and private companies, municipalities, and organizations with the deep expertise required to successfully navigate and take advantage of transportation’s evolution.
Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Econolite, CAVita maintains extensive contacts with decision-makers in vehicle and infrastructure technology, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), mobility systems for people and freight, technology companies, CAV deployment and testing consortia, leading research universities, and broader parts of the ecosystem including telecommunications, data analytics, logistics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and insurance. Furthermore, CAVita’s Econolite affiliation affords unparalleled access to a broad array of engineering resources, ITS expertise, and deployment capabilities.
CAVita’s clients include some of the transportation industry’s leading organizations, such as the two largest transportation research institutes, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Other clients include the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and numerous private companies.
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CAV News Digest is a production of CAVita, LLC, an Econolite company.
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