A massive change in the field of transportation has taken up the storm after the innovation of most exciting technology- connected and automated vehicle (CAV). The concept itself has come up with remarkable benefits such as less transportation cost, improved safety, and reduced traffic congestion. Apart from the economic development CAV’s have also become an inspiration for government bodies. These entities are taking an interest in finding how this technology can bring benefits to social welfare.
Technology leaders are guiding the automakers and automotive management services companies to make new vehicles infused with this latest innovation- CAV. Therefore, the next generation vehicles will have the capability of self-driving and possess wireless connectivity. The rise of such technologies has brought a new technology jargon in the automotive hub — connected and automated vehicles (CAV).
On the other hand, automated vehicles are dependent upon the information received from the external environment like camera, sensors etc. If any human is driving the vehicle, then it will have connectivity applications like GPS, telematics etc. Further, comes in the intelligent transportation system which is mostly conflated with the connected and automated systems.
Thus, CAV contains three sub technology-
- Connected vehicle systems- Technology that innovated with the purpose to save lives, create communications between vehicles and communication between vehicles and roadside with the implementation dedicated short-range communications (DSRC).
- Automated vehicle systems- A combination of various components such as perception, decision making, and operation conducted through electronics and machinery replacing the human driver owning the vehicle in traffic.
- Intelligent transportation systems- An intelligent application that provides information to the user for making a safer journey and other services related to different modes of transport.
Impact of the connected and automated vehicle on the transportation system
While looking at the benefits after the implementation of connected and automated systems and automotive management services it seems there would be a thorough change in the entire transportation system. Travel demand and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is the majorly impacted concerns when CAV’s will be running on roads.
New constructions for parking could become non-effective because of the decrease in its demand. Communities can now save money which they were going to invest in building new parking.
Travel Demand and Vehicle Miles Traveled
The days are no far when society will experience the road with automated or self-driving vehicles. As surveyed by leading automotive management service companies it seems, a significant change is likely to come in the way people are traveling today and the way they would travel in future.
The primary objective of CAVs is to reduce the time that humans are engaged in driving. To measure the difference of how much we drive the most common tool used is VMT. The standards of VMT is defined by federal highway administration (FHWA). The equation includes miles traveled by a particular vehicle within a specified duration.
Though, it is too early for us to draw any conclusions regarding the future scenario. However, based on several studies and cases the potential impact of CAV’s on VMT can be estimated along with the possibility to identify which factors will increase or decrease VMT.
How will VMT get increased with the use of CAV?
Increased Comfort Demand
Various business models like car sharing or renting have provided an exceptional experience to the customers. Travelling has now become convenient and affordable. Future innovations like self-driving cars will add more ease as it will eliminate the transportation costs, save times which they can invest into other fruitful activities such as read, play, rest or chat while being in the car. Eventually, this will lead to increase in vehicle travel time.
Empty Vehicles Travelling
As automated vehicles do not require any human attention, it can travel on their own. This will give the opportunity to send trucks without any driver or passengers. In this scenario, VMT gets increased as the need for pick-up and drop-off will get eliminated and trucks itself will be enough for fleet transportation.
Reduced Trip Chaining
As zero-occupancy trips are possible with the automated vehicles, incentives on trip chaining could be reduced at a higher level. Suppose let’s take a day of laymen’s life. A family of four with parents and two children have to travel different places at a different time daily. A self-driving vehicle could take the father of the family to work and then return home empty. Again start to drop the children at school and back home empty increasing the VMT.
A decrease in parking occupancy
Automated vehicles could drop the person at the destination and will be able to find the parking place on its own with the help of satellite parking facilities. The concern of distance between the stop and parking gets eliminated and thus VMT increases.
Privilege for non-drivers
Drivers have to pass through specific criteria to achieve a driving license. In self-driving vehicles, there would be no such process, and the population is containing senior citizens, disabilities, underage (16 in India) and other non-drivers can also travel without any fear.
There are many theories around CAV, but the only question is when it will become a reality? Companies need to maximise the opportunities and aggressively target market growth in the areas of testing and validation. Though many automotive companies are recently developing connected and automated vehicle technologies. This includes OEMs, technology leaders, collaborative groups and universities. After the implementation, the testing of such vehicles with this technology is carried out on-road and campuses.
Connected and Automated Vehicle technology is one of the disrupters which is going to bring a revolution in the transportation system. With this the achievements would be optimised road space, reduced congestions, saving lives through accident control and more.
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