Buckendale Lecture Series: Transformational Technologies Reshaping Transportation—A Government Perspective 2018-01-2011
Transportation departments are under-going a dramatic transformation, shifting from organizations focused primarily on building roads to a focus on mobility for all users. The transformation is the result of rapidly advancing autonomous vehicle technology and personal telecommunication technology. These technologies provide the opportunity to dramatically improve safety, mobility, and economic opportunity for society and industry. Future generations of engineers and other transportation professionals have the opportunity to be part of that societal change. This paper will focus on the technologies state DOT’s and the private sector are researching, developing, and deploying to promote the future of mobility and improved efficiency for commercial trucking through advancements in truck platooning, self-driving long-haul trucking, and automated last mile distribution networks.
Additionally, the paper will explore the trends likely to affect the automotive industry, such as deployments of signal phase and timing technology, marketing mobility as a service, vehicle to vehicle communication, and vehicle to infrastructure communication. This paper will also cover the relevance of freight planning to the industry as well has how mobility is changing across society and what impacts it might have to the commercial vehicle industry. Plus, what consequences to society might be as result of new mobility technology.
Governments are especially interested the technology that supports the development of safer transportation. The technology and processes discussed will enable government to manage assets better, use resources more efficiently, and collect valuable data that can be used to better serve its residents. With personal telecommunications technology and transportation technology advancing at a rapid rate there is the potential to create new economic activity through innovations that are not even known at this time. The impacts of internet of things, advanced smart phones, smart meters, radio frequency identifiers, and many other new technologies will create the city and transportation networks of the future. Federal, State, and Local governments need to position themselves provide and understand this technology infrastructure to improve the services they provide.
These trends and technologies will impact the future of travel choices and have the potential to transform society, the automotive industry, and the service provided by transportation departments. While there are still many unknowns, there is the possibility that traditional transportation as it currently exists will seem as outdated to future generations as the horse and buggy seems today.