Issue: Oct 2014


Self-driving cars, urban mobility, Big Data, Logistics performance: 4 new reports from ITF



ITF Corporate Partnership Board Projects Highlight Ways Forward on Looming Policy Issues

by Esther Francis

The findings of the first four projects launched by the ITF Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), the organisation's platform for engaging with the private sector, were recently launched in Paris. The first round of projects provide input on a range of key policy issues:

The projects cover:

Autonomous driving  - How should governments regulate the use of automated vehicles?

Urban Mobility - Are self-driving cars a game changer for urban mobility?

Mobility Data - How can Big Data help to improve transport and what is the role of government?

Logistics Performance - What elements of a logistics networks drive performance is examined in this case study of Turkey’s logistics sector?

The four projects are the first launched by the ITF’s new Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), the ITF’s platform for engaging with the private sector.

CPB projects are designed to enrich policy discussion with a business perspective. They are launched in areas where CPB member companies identify an emerging issue in transport policy or an innovation challenge to the transport system. Led by ITF, work is carried out in collaborative fashion in working groups consisting of CPB member companies, external experts and ITF researchers.

"Among the many insights from the first round of CPB projects are real eye-openers", said ITF Secretary-General José Viegas at the presentation. "These reports will prove extremely valuable in stimulating policy debate in many countries and in many contexts."

The current members of the CPB are: Bombardier Transportation, China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), HERE Global, Kapsch TrafficCom, Meridiam, Michelin, Nissan, PTV Group, SerTrans Logistics, Total, Uber Technologies, Volvo.

Autonomous driving

This project looked at what issues will have to be considered at a strategic level by authorities as autonomous vehicles arrive on our roads. Many cars sold today are already capable of some level of autonomous operation and prototype cars capable of driving autonomously are being tested on public roads in Europe, Japan and the United States. Deployment of these technologies is expected to accelerate, since autonomous driving promises many benefits including improved safety and reduced congestion. Authorities will have to adapt existing regulations and create new ones in order to ensure the full compatibility of these vehicles with the public's expectations regarding safety, legal responsibility and privacy. Policy insights from this project include the need for regulators to view automated driving as part of much larger technological revolutions in automation and connectivity, the importance of creating the right insurance regimes and taking pro-active measures to minimise legacy risks for first-generation self-driving technology.

Participating CPB members: Kapsch TrafficCom, Michelin, Nissan, PTV Group, Volvo.

External expert: Bryant Walker Smith, Stanford University, United States.

Urban Mobility

What if all car trips in a city were undertaken by a fleet of fully coordinated self-driving vehicles? In light of rapid urbanisation, the development of self-driving cars and a "shared economy" based on optimising usage of spare capacity, this project investigated the potential impact of a radical upgrade to today's urban mobility system. On the basis of detailed mobility data for a mid-sized European city, including origin, destination and timing of all trips, a model was developed to test various alternative transport system configurations that would provide the same level of mobility as today. Two different self-driving vehicle concepts were explored this way: "TaxiBots", which can be shared simultaneously by several passengers, and "AutoVots", which sequentially pick up single passengers and drop them off. Policy insights from this simulation include that the impact of shared self-driving fleets can be significant, delivering the same level of mobility as today, with much fewer cars, but that it nonetheless remains necessary to manage freed space efficiently to lock in the benefits.

Participating CPB members: Michelin, Nissan.

Mobility Data

This project looked at the considerations authorities should have regarding the creation, processing, conditions of use and access to mobility data. The 21st century is awash with data from sensors, vehicles, smartphones, parking systems, inventory tracking systems, ticketing systems, geographic applications, buildings, energy distribution networks and multiple other digital and analogue sources including video streams. There are tremendous upsides from the use and fusion of these data streams to better manage and optimise transport services and improve safety, but there are also associated risks, notably since much of this data is highly personal in nature. Policy insights from the project concludes that transport authorities will need to audit data to ensure it is used in the best way, that new models of data-sharing between public and private actors are needed to leverage benefits and that effective protection of location data will need to be designed into technologies upfront.

Participating CPB members: PTV Group, Kapsch TrafficCom.

External expert: Carlo Ratti, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States.

Drivers of Logistics Performance

Understanding and breaking down the elements of trade and logistics performance can help countries improve freight transport efficiency and highlight where international co-operation is helpful to overcome barriers. Using the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index (LPI) as a benchmarking tool, this case study looked at the logistics performance of Turkey, with a view to identifying factors that have a critical impact on Turkey's competitiveness and to understanding which policies may reduce persistent bottlenecks. Among the policy insights of this case study are the importance of reducing variability of customs and border clearance and the importance of policies that improve the resilience of the transport system to shocks (e.g. political unrest).

Participating CPB members: SerTrans Logistics.

External expert: Prof. Lauri Ojala, Turku School of Economics, Finland. 

 

 

 



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