WSP has been working with key players across the world to better understand the impact of driverless vehicles on local environments. We partner with state and local transportation agencies to determine where they are today and where they want to go with respect to these advancing transportation technologies. We offer strategic and operational guidance covering a number of key areas, including:
- Current state of C/AV technology, new mobility services and associated activities
- Public-private partnerships for pilot testing and technology development
- Legislation and regulation at the local, regional and federal levels
- Long-range policies and plans, supporting strategic, financial and operations planning
- C/AV integration into concept of operations for next-generation operational strategies, including managed lanes, active traffic management and toll operations
"In my opinion, not considering the impact of C/AV at this point is simply malpractice," says Scott Shogan, Connected/Automated Vehicle Market Leader for WSP in the US.
Driverless Cars Will Transform Cities
The introduction of connected and automated vehicle (C/AV) technologies and technology- driven mobility services, such as private companies providing ride hailing and car-sharing services, present great opportunities and challenges for all.
“We need to make sure the framework will take the new realities into account to ensure that our roads are safer and more efficient,” says Scott Benjamin, Principal ITS Engineer at WSP in Australia.
Connected vehicles sending and receiving signals from other vehicles, street lights, road sensors, and other devices will also help make the driving experience safer and better. And if cars can drop off passengers and then make themselves available for other passengers, land currently occupied by cark parks can be repurposed. In a study, WSP calculated that a carefully planned deployment of shared and self-driving vehicles can increase the developable area by up to 20%. “What can we do with that new space?” asks Rachel Skinner, Development Director for WSP in London. She produced, in collaboration with Farrells, a thought-provoking whitepaper entitled Making Better Places.
Mobility and Freight Pricing
WSP has a long history designing pricing and regulatory frameworks from incentivising the uptake of cleaner vehicles to congestion charging. New mobility services, mobility as a service (in a European definition), will create multimodal packages of offerings that will inherently mean new pricing models for transportation and a need for the public sector to react to that.
The pricing of individual mobility services by private suppliers and the interplay between those and the societal incentives and market regulations will together determine what travel choices will be made by individual consumers and on an aggregated level how efficient the transport system will be. Simultaneously with a need for holistic pricing policies over different modes, it is important to realise that existing policies may not be effective for their intended purpose in the future. Car ownership and fuel taxes, as well as parking charges may lose their effectiveness. New technology has even in mobility pricing a role to play.
Planning and Design
Roadside infrastructure: We design and specify the roadside infrastructure that enables connectivity between vehicles – V2V & V2I
Telecommunications expertise: We provide the telecommunications expertise that supports connected and autonomous vehicle applications and services; including EV charging and payment for services.
Data management, warehousing and integration: We design and operate systems that manage large volumes of data from connected vehicles and translate that data into usable information for transportation management centres and/or agency-specific applications.
Systems design & integration: We specify, design and integrate the systems that enable connected, autonomous and electric vehicles and services to function – combined with the systems needed for payments and sharing.
Network Operations and Safety
Connected, Autonomous and Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles all have the potential to disrupt current models for operating road and network operations. Their introduction to transport networks has implications on the safe operation of those networks.
At WSP we have developed models to consider the operational and safety implications of CAV and ULEV on transport networks that enable road authorities to plan for their introduction – by considering the overall system rather than individual elements. The balanced framework approach allows the potential positive and negative impacts of these disruptive technologies to be assessed in an objective manner, considering, for example, how existing infrastructure may need to be adapted or replaced. In the UK we have used this approach for the first real life connected corridors and a trial of truck platooning.