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Preparing Greater Philadelphia for Highly Automated Vehicles

Product No.: 20013
Date Published: 11/2020

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Geographic Area Covered: Nine-county DVRPC region consisting of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey; and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania.

Abstract: Preparing Greater Philadelphia for Highly Automated Vehicle Deployment is a companion to Dispatches from Alternative Futures (DVRPC Publication #20012). This report explores the future of transportation through the lens of vehicular automation. It reviews the technologies being used to create highly automated vehicles (HAVs) and where they are in their development. It then extends the Dispatches exploratory scenarios to consider different ways HAVs could roll out in the future. Five key takeaways emerge from the analysis: (1) There is a need to better understand the uncertainty associated with HAV development, deployment, and in the outcomes from their deployment; (2) HAVs that can drive themselves in specific areas and certain conditions will likely be operating on the region’s roads within the next few years, but HAVs that can drive themselves anywhere in all conditions may be decades away; (3) HAV deployment is likely to expand the role of the private market in transportation services and potentially infrastructure development; while further eroding transportation gas tax revenues and increasing demand for infrastructure investment; (4). The region needs to articulate a clear vision for how it would like HAVs to be deployed, and use that to guide strategies and policies for HAVs; and develop new partnership(s) to better coordinate and prepare for technology deployment; and (5) There are short-term strategies that can be implemented now in advance of the vision, which can provide benefits beyond HAV deployment and are unlikely to cause future regret.

Key Words: Alternate Futures, Artificial Intelligence, Automated Vehicles, Big Tech, Business Models, Climate Change, Congestion, Connections 2050, COVID-19, Cybersecurity, Delayed Expectations, Data, Deployment, Development, Digital Revolution, Dispatches, Economy, Electric Vehicles, Energy, Equity, Forces, Futures Group, Futures Working Group, Grassroots, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Inclusive Tech, Infrastructure, Jobs, Land Use, Long-Range Plan, Mobility, Mobility-as-a-Service, Open Source, Open Space, Partnership(s), People Power, Regulations, Safety, Scenarios, Scenario Planning, Shared Mobility, Signposts, Strategies, Technology, Technology in The Driver's Seat, Transportation Network, Transportation Funding, Transportation Infrastructure, Transportation Technology, Uncertainty, Vision, Urban Vitality.

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