Preparing for Automated Vehicles

How do we prepare for the many changes that connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) will bring to both our customers and businesses, and how can we leverage these changes for the benefit of all? This was the pressing question that many public transportation agencies were asking at the 2016 Technology Transfer Seminar in San Francisco, sponsored by ITS California and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

Whether it’s Automated, Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric, Highly Autonomous or some combination thereof, these vehicles are coming. In fact, many capabilities are already here. Takeaways from TTS2016 are:

  • Transportation is “hot” right now, with tech companies of all stripes and sizes investing in mobility products and services. There are opportunities to help transit agencies, public actors and private interests to leverage advancements such as the vast increase in third-party data tools and personal mobility services. At the same time, there is also a challenge for industry leaders to stay on top of core offerings and expertise that ensures that we stay ahead of the many “newbies” in the transportation realm.
  • Yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There’s a lot of unanswered questions right now about the impact of CAV, and a lot of technology and infrastructure platforms vying for position. We need to think in the long-term when developing strategies and solutions for clients, which feed the hunger for innovation while demonstrating practicality.

To do this, it is essential to stay on top of the developing state and federal regulations and the advanced development cycles of the private sector, while also developing an independent vision for where CAV business will be in the near- and mid-term.

In many ways the Connected, Electric, Shared and Autonomous technologies will converge. However, in the near term, there is a pressing need to help stakeholders solve issues related to the following topics:

  • Developing the goals, policies and strategy and infrastructure for connected vehicles
  • Preparing for the electrification and eventual potential automation of public transit fleets
  • Adapting public transit to the shared mobility options now available

IBI Group’s Intelligence sector, with IBI TH!NK and the CAV Working Group, has opened the door to holding these conversations with many of our clients as well as private-sector partners. We’re ready and excited for this massive shift in public mobility and our industry as a whole.

Jill MacKay

Jill MacKay is a Senior Associate with IBI Group, where she provides technical consulting and project management services to public transportation agencies for the planning, design and implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems. Jill leads IBI Group’s multi-disciplinary Connected and Autonomous Vehicles working group, which seeks to assure that IBI Group’s intelligent systems and urban design practitioners stay integrated with the rapidly-changing landscape of personal mobility. Outside of work, Jill enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, and lifting heavy things.

Joel Soden

Joel Soden is a transit planner living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether working in system planning, facility planning or technology implementations, he brings a creative and holistic approach to problem solving and collaboration. Joel looks forward to helping clients prepare for the significant changes coming to the transportation sector in the next decade.

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