It states the greatest benefit from autonomous vehicles will emerge from a city’s capacity to provide “first and last mile” trips and new transport services
Siemens has published a report urging cities to plan early for the arrival of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and to tackle the issues in the wider context of mobility transformation.
Cities in the Driving Seat Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Urban Development, released at the World Cities Summit in Singapore this week, explores the interdependencies between urban development, public transportation policies, power supply, pollution and the increasing share of CAV in city traffic. It states lack of mid-term planning and delayed investments in infrastructure could create negative social, economic and environmental effects.
“Autonomous vehicles must be part of a wider transformation of urban areas. Cities need to ensure that they work towards putting people first – and not cars, or we risk repeating the mistakes of the past,” said Pete Daw, urban development and environment director, Siemens Global Centre of Competence Cities.
"The future of our cities could look very different with the adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles and they could help shape future trends in climate change, air quality, public health and more.”
The report provides insights into opportunities as well as risks for cities faced with the arrival of CAV. It lists the greatest benefits to cities as the capacity to provide first and last mile trips and help government provide new transport services and expanded mobility access to the young, elderly, impaired and marginalised.
Alongside reduction in pollution and emissions as well as road fatalities and injuries, it also highlights CAV’s potential to enable cities to repurpose land currently used for parking and roadways into green space, housing, schools and protected cycle lanes.
Siemens warns though that without clear and thoughtful policies and regulations, the arrival of CAV could result in negative consequences, such as:
To maximise the benefits of automation and of the introduction of CAV, the report recommends harnessing the advance of four transformations in unison: automation, electrification, digital connectivity and shared mobility. Adopting mobility transformations in isolation could lead to adverse outcomes or detract from potential benefits.
The study defines three possible scenarios to illustrate how outcomes could vary depending on the vision and policies that a city puts in place:
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