Connected and automated vehicles (C/AV) have the potential to change all aspects of mobility: from the way we commute to how we plan and develop infrastructure for the future of our cities. 




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 parking lots 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.

The impact of autonomous vehicles

The large-scale introduction of self-driving vehicles will have major impacts on our urban centres.

Policy and Planning

C/AV technologies and new mobility services are happening now and they’re challenging decades of standing policies, and the foundational assumptions with which we carry out long- range planning. They are creating great uncertainty with regards to future travel demand, travel behaviour, and transportation system capacity and safety.

Traditional planning strategies can no longer ignore these implications. Through internal and external research and process development, WSP is establishing methods to help agencies proactively develop policies and evaluate scenarios for various advanced technology futures.

In the US, our experts are busy working in multiple sites and with numerous partners, such as in Maryland or in Michigan, where we are responsible for developing and deploying the roadside infrastructure that communicates with vehicles being tested at Mcity, one of the few test tracks in the world dedicated to C/AV technology.

WSP published a guide that assists government officials in determining the necessary infrastructure and policy changes brought by the advent of driverless vehicles. In Australia, WSP is working with partners to understand how the introduction of automated vehicles will affect road operators. We are also participating in route assessments for fully automated and driverless buses. In Sweden, we are working closely with Drive Sweden to learn about the changes in the physical and virtual world needed to support the future of personal transport.

Here are some of the services we provide to local and state governments across the world:

  • Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Management: We support agencies with developing roadmaps for CV deployment, and positioning organizations to take advantage of these systems to help meet agency objectives.
  • Roadside Infrastructure Deployment: We design and deploy dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) roadside infrastructure, and work with vendors and telecommunications specialists to implement DSRC networks.
  • Telecommunications Expertise: We offer telecommunications expertise in support of DSRC backhaul infrastructure, as well as for other C/AV applications that require a telecommunications backbone.
  • Vehicle-to- Infrastructure (V2I) Applications: We enable messaging capabilities and data integration to support V2I applications, such as traffic signal-based messaging and integration with transit service applications.
  • Data Management, Warehousing and Integration: We help to manage large volumes of data from connected vehicles and translate that data into usable information for transportation management centers and/or agency-specific applications. 
  • Asset and Configuration Management: We assist in deploying emerging technologies while being mindful of performance management tracking, ensuring that equipment functions as planned and can expand as needed.