Amazon has already begun testing drones in the UK, while Google recently obtained approval for drone operations from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Now it is possible to imagine a self-driving delivery van transporting the merchandise to a distribution point, where employees prepare the drones for final delivery.
“There is no question that there is a proliferation of delivery vans in our cities,” notes Tim Papandreou, who works on the Google Self-Driving Vehicle Project. “So the question becomes how you integrate new types of vehicles and what will their impact be…”
Taking all of that into account, municipal authorities need to prepare for the future. It’s not just about the question of driverless vehicles; the entire transportation system is likely to benefit from connected and automated vehicles.
“An autonomous vehicle (AV) is not network intelligent, but a connected AV talks with other vehicles and with roadside infrastructure,” explains Scott Shogan, Connected/Automated Vehicle Market Leader in the US. “Efficiency will come through the provision of information from the system, like: this light is green and, if you continue at 45 km/h, you will catch the next green light as well.”
Connected and automated trucks are coming to our roads and our streets, so let’s ensure that our infrastructure systems are prepared for them.