Considering the Implications of Technology Enabled Transport on Transport Infrastructure and Design
In the last decade there has been a rapid increase in the level of technology embedded in both vehicles and transport infrastructure. As this technology finds its way on to public roads it will begin to influence decisions around the type of transport infrastructure that is needed in the future. On the one hand, such technology may mean we can remove signs, roadside barriers, stoplights, etc. and cars will optimise their travel pathways moving between lanes seamlessly, on the other hand we may have a fleet of empty cars protected from pedestrians and cyclists while they drive around filling up the road network and causing greater congestion and pollution issues. This paper outlines the research findings of an industry-led investigation into how anticipated changes in the level of technology enablement of vehicles may influence decisions around investment in transport infrastructure. The research was undertaken in three stages: Stage 1 involved the identification of precedent for policy changes to support and control the trialling and use of vehicles capable of driverless operation; Stage 2 involved the identification of a short list of key areas where technology change stands to directly influence infrastructure investment in the future; Stage 3 explored the key areas to identify specific implications. This research has been developed with funding and support provided by Australia’s Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) and its partners.
Keywords - Transport, Infrastructure, Technology