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The top 5 things planners need to know about self-driving vehicles

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There are numerous stories being written on self-driving vehicles today that are pretty impressive, and to be honest, almost a bit overwhelming.

In fact there are so many angles to the self-driving vehicle arena, that it is hard to know what we should be concerned about as transportation planners.

Inspired by a SlideShare I had seen by Jonathan Rosenberg at Google, my colleague, Dan Krechmer and I thought we would have some fun and talk about this exciting topic in a new way; which not only engages, but also informs.

We then teamed up with artist Ron Basile who brought our words to life; and did a heck of a job with the illustrations.

I hope you enjoy our perspective on this exciting development in transportation.

Published in: Engineering
  • How do you think this will impact policy? Will automated cars have to share the lane with traditional vehicles? Or will they get their own special lane? Also, driving is an inherently dangerous activity. What does everyone think about the idea that the advent of self-driving cars will render manual driving not only obsolete, but illegal?
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The top 5 things planners need to know about self-driving vehicles

  1. 1. The Top Five Things Planners Need to Know About Self-Driving Vehicles By Chris Hedden & Dan Krechmer with Ron Basile http://www.camsys.com/automated-connected-vehicles.htm
  2. 2. Every day you hear a story in the news about connected vehicles, automated vehicles, or self-driving cars and how these vehicles will transform mobility in the United States.
  3. 3. These stories talk about things like Shared Economy and Disruptive Technologies.
  4. 4. And they give conflicting predictions: Some say VMT will go up... Some say VMT will go down... And some folks are now talking about VMD... What the heck is that? VMD?
  5. 5. Confused Yet?
  6. 6. Don’t feel bad... The truth is, it’s a complex topic.
  7. 7. Lots of moving parts and lots of hard technical problem-solving still left to be done.
  8. 8. But there are some things that we as planners need to know today... about these vehicles of tomorrow.
  9. 9. TOP 5 things planners need to know about self-driving vehicles
  10. 10. 1) Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen 2) It’s Connected AND Autonomous 3) Commercial Vehicles Will Be First 4) Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past 5) The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future 6 7 8
  11. 11. 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen
  12. 12. 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen It really is time to accept it... it is no longer a matter of if, it is now a matter of when.
  13. 13. The falling cost of sensors, radars, and other devices, coupled with dramatic increases in software capabilities, have provided the tipping in providing this functionality in a vehicle. 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen SALE!
  14. 14. How it will happen is not the important question. 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen
  15. 15. The important question is... what happens when they do? 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen
  16. 16. Now is the time to start developing new forecasts based on these vehicles being in the fleet. 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen
  17. 17. And answering some of the larger questions: Will this increase or decrease VMT? How will LAND USE change? How do we need to UPDATE our modeling to better capture the techniques IMPACT of these VEHICLES? 1. Self-Driving Vehicles Will Happen What happens to Transit?
  18. 18. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous
  19. 19. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous Although there are two distinct approaches to achieving self-driving vehicles, they are really two sides of the same coin.
  20. 20. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous Alone they both provide significant improvements toward mobility, but combined they allow these new vehicles to reach the full potential of their transformative capabilities.
  21. 21. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous So don’t get caught up in choosing sides or thinking one way is better than another. THIS THAT OR
  22. 22. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous Instead, educate your agency about how both of these approaches work and begin the real work of understanding how it will affect your region. THIS THAT AND
  23. 23. 2. It’s Connected AND Autonomous And don’t forget to start building relationships with these new technology companies and traditional car makers, you will need them to more fully understand the impact of these vehicles.
  24. 24. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First
  25. 25. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First Which type of vehicle (trucks or cars) comes to market first will depend a great deal on who has the greatest demand for such a machine.
  26. 26. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First The Goods Movement and Logistics sectors have intense pressures motivating them to be an early adopter.
  27. 27. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First The driver shortage in the country is only going to get worse... and shippers (the ultimate customer) are always looking for ways to reduce costs and increase reliability/efficiency.
  28. 28. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First These new vehicle types provide this entire sector with a path toward significantly reducing costs. Therefore, they will be the sector pushing hardest to bring these vehicles to market quickly.
  29. 29. 3. Commercial Vehicles Will Be First Understanding these types of vehicles first allows us as planners to prioritize our efforts and think about how elements of our transportation network and economy could change. (i.e., will there be a need for so many roadside services built to support truck drivers?)
  30. 30. 4. Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past
  31. 31. 4. Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past When the majority of the fleet is both connected and automated, there will be significant decreases in crashes, resulting in significant increases in safety and reliability.
  32. 32. 4. Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past It also will lead to significant decreases in non-recurring congestion, which as we know is over 50% of total congestion.
  33. 33. 3. Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past With these decreases in congestion we could get more capacity out of the existing system, lessening the need for expensive, time-consuming capacity expansion solutions.
  34. 34. 3. Capacity Expansion May Be a Thing of the Past Planners today need to start thinking about where to invest given these new developments. $$$ 1 2 3
  35. 35. 5. The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future
  36. 36. 5. The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future Many signs point toward the shared economy growing rapidly over the next 20 years. Today The Future!
  37. 37. 5. The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future Many forecasters believe that by combining self-driving functionality with ride-sharing flexibility, you have the potential to radically change the way people use our transportation system.
  38. 38. 5. The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future Along with buying cars like they we do now, people would also have mobility through subscription-based shared vehicle fleets. Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
  39. 39. 5. The Shared Economy Will Play a Huge Part in the Mobility of the Future As planners we need to start now, trying to understand the effects of this new mobility as a service concept. If there are less cars in the total fleet, but they are more highly utilized, what does that mean to congestion? ?
  40. 40. Want to Continue the Discussion? Contact Chris Hedden at: chedden@camsys.com

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