Richard We thank our co-author, urban designer and cartoonist, Ross Bateup
This is not a definitive exposition!
Richard The future is exciting. Malcolm Turnbull and the conference papers indicate this. Eg: ITS, future of modelling, autonomous cars, sharing cars, eBikes But what is the future? AITPM is 50 years old this year. We are going to talk about the next 50 years. Because it’s something we can affect and bring about, not just comment on what’s taken place. Having said that, we should be aware of the traps. Don’t make predictions – only make a fool of yourself. 50 years out 2066 – very hazardous.
PERHAPS EXPLAIN OUR TAG TEAM EFFORT: IAN TALKING ABOUT HAZARDS OF PREDICTION, AND PAST TRENDS RICHARD PREDICTING/ SPECULATING IAN DISCUSSES SOME IMPLICATIONS OF DRIVERLESS CARS RICHARD CONCLUDING
IAN Usual approach to prediction is to extrapolate the past: continuing the trend. Simply: Straight line graph with start date 1966, middle 2016, dotted from 2016-2066) This would underestimate changes in technology AND its consequences
IAN If so, possibly not much different? (SPOT THE DIFFERENCE)
IAN Computing power has been doubling every 18 months for the past 40 years Exponential growth
Bill Gates: we tend to over-estimate change in the short term and under-estimate it in the long term. That is, We miss the inflections.
IAN Which way will we go?Unpredictable? Yes
FIRSTLY some trends Increasing…….. Cars have been getting bigger; also traffic volumes, and transport energy consumption Slowing…….and slower traffic (but vehicles capable of super fast unsafe speeds) Improving road safety, and social awareness and caring
With ever bigger cars and trucks, ever slower traffic in urban areas Possible ultimate safety? Vision zero?
IAN Suburban roads to residential streets (LATM, Streets for People) Rediscovery of main streets and the CBD Environmental awareness and interventions
RICHARD Just in time everything and completely connected life Live where you like IT big influence on all above Now, Internet of Things Anything is possible. So what is your better life?
RICHARD What of the future? Are there any constraints? Land, resources (short term), money, earth’s balance Not our imagination and innovation Not energy, we are technologically ready and able to efficiently harness the sun’s energy, and earth’s forces (wind, sea) To imagine the future, think and develop ideas with no constraints. Think Big Ideas Applies to Traffic and Transport
RICHARD Glimpses of the Future Exponential & disruptive technologies, eg Autonomous everything Machine learning Implanted (human) chips Human occupation off earth; space mining for rare minerals
RICHARD Soon, if not now All of these above currently exist, being developed, in prototype if not in commercial use Plus Automatic coupling of vehicles, trailers and trucks (rail and road) Exo-skeletons Machine to machine communication 3D personal travel Drones fully integrated into city distribution Airships Mk 3, especially for large and heavy loads
RICHARD We may have to wait a little for teleporting of people…...? OR Teleporting of people at least might still be a dream in 50 years time BUT Is it possible? I think so. Not proven impossible
Richard Harmonious, sustainable integrated transport: societies and cities.
Not cutting swathes through cities in a discordant manner (as shown here)
RICHARD Harmonious, maybe. But why? Impracticable Double life span of humans within a lifetime! Already significant extension compared to 50 years ago Changes required by society to adapt, to use new and disruptive technologies What would these be…….?
Along the way: Familiar? Similar La Defense area in Paris (started in the 60's!) Enactment of the SDMA (Safety and Mobility Discrimination Act) AV intersection without traffic signals (Ref: MIT), except for pedestrians Extensive segregation/grade-separation in urban areas to reduce vehicle conflicts till near full AV All signs in car on head up displays Big Brother overrides, i.e. system decides not person or car Big thinking: What to do with greenhouse gases: convert CO2 into building materials or alternative fuels? (Ref: “X Prize”)
RICHARD An alternative perspective and approach! (The 5th Element movie?)
Richard Ultimately in virtual world, no street form, all linked virtually, no need to physically travel!
IAN [stay on previous slide]
An alternative vision
Share optimism about our future. We will have the ability to make the world much better than it is now. History has been progression to better conditions and this should continue. [this slide] Just because we can, doesn’t mean we will.
Just because we will have the technology to do things, doesn’t mean that we will or want to.
Question is: what will we want in the next 50 years? Will we want drones flying overhead?
We now want to look at the implications of one feature that is just around the corner, driverless cars. .
Focus on one critical aspect of the future that we are hearing a lot about lately: driverless/ autonomous cars. Some predict that humans will not be allowed to drive cars on public roads in 50 years. Will we as a society allow that?
Incredibly important: more significant than any transport development since the development of the car. Hugely disruptive to our workforce, great promise for people currently transport disadvantaged. I will focus on the traffic impact.
TWO SCENARIOS: “Volvo” scenario.
This photo is of a convoy of Volvo cars platooned to a truck. Taken in 2012: 4 years ago. (Ref: Technology in Volvo cars.) Tried to sell it to SA: hop on freeway, hook up to a truck and interact with facebook from Murray Bridge.
More cars – (maybe) we won’t mind long commutes.
More cars – but we won’t mind long commutes when we have our digital living space
Other factors that may result in more cars 1. Safety benefits (GPS, LIDAR (light detection and ranging), multiple eyes, concentration, obeying the road rules) mean you can fit more of them on the roads 2. Avoiding parking issues for commuters Send the car home after dropping you off, summon it to pick you up after work.
By eliminating the cost of drivers, the economics of transportation will change as well: – Smaller, targeted end to end transport of just-in-time goods. more trucks (although smaller) on the road
Alternative scenario: Uber
“Once shared autonomous vehicles become widespread, the total size of the vehicle fleet can be massively reduced - some estimate a drop of 90%” (PWC, 2015)! Wow! Without the cost of a driver taxis will be much cheaper. Also deregulated, so wouldn’t have to cover the cost of a taxi licence. Also right sizing: won’t need the SUV to drive to work.
(Also argument that electric vehicles will be much more viable, because the more the vehicle is used, the better the economics of lower marginal cost stack up against the high capital cost. But this probably won’t be relevant in 10 years or so.)
People will not need to own their own car because alternatives much more feasible: Car-free lifestyle. No parking issues at home or at work. Just summon a nearby taxi, or shuttle pod to local public transport station.
Autonomous vehicles - what could this mean for the future of transport? Eg, at the AITPM 2015 National Conference, a study cited, Jeffery Greenblatt and Samveg Saxena 2015 “Autonomous taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. light-duty vehicles”, Berkeley National Laboratory
IAN Which way will we go? Car makers have a lot of advertising muscle. Status role of cars. Handbag role (especially for tradies) Appeal of living a long way out/ plenty of space Versus Cheapness of car free lifestyle. No need for garage, driveway space. Shopping centres far less need for oceans of car parking.
Also driverless cars will be far more efficiently used if they are part of a fleet rather than sitting around when you as a user don’t need them.
The economics of Volvo, Mercedes, Tesla vs. Google, Uber who are selling services rather than cars.
What will you choose?
IAN Sit back and watch the huge corporations slug it out?
Uber scenario far better for our cities and planet. Will this come about anyway as a result of commercial interests and technological development?
Earlier, we said that history has been one of improvement and we can choose our futures. Not always true. congestion just as bad as it was kids caged up This the result of not looking ahead and identifying the critical turning points.
IAN [stay on previous slide] My vision transport without externalities: pollution, severance, danger, nuisance etc The important thing is to have a sense of where we want to be over the next 50 years and work out how to get there. [New slide] City as an Amazon warehouse: fully automated freight delivery and receiving, done at night by silent vehicles - - invisibly connected Streets without motorised vehicles - except ePrams and eBikes!
IAN City as an Amazon warehouse (No 2): can this be applied to people too: fully automated, safe, friendly, travel between places of living, work, recreation – “invisibly” connected
How can we achieve this? Traditional economists’ approach: put a price on the externalities When my driving on the road causes noise, or prevents people walking across the road easily, I should be charged for it. Not done in the past because not practicable. Now technically easy. May be other ways: noise limits, lower speed limits etc
RICHARD Conclusions The future is exciting, with a touch of scepticism, but which future? A lot unknown, but huge changes certain We will have to wait and see And keep on imagining and thinking big ideas And keep coming to AITPM conferences to keep abreast of developments
RICHARD We leave the last comment to Ross… And Can Malcolm Turnbull stretch excitement to 50 years? But what is it we want? Let‘s be clear But perhaps (?) Not all of us find it exciting. Boring!(?)
Transport futures - imagine some possibilities
Transport futures - imagine some
Dr Ian Radbone
What are the big issues?
• Orderly, viable evolution and development
• Providing mobility, accessibility in an equitable
manner for all
• Everyone should have good value choices
• Maintaining Earth’s natural balances for future
• Lack of strategic thinking and planning