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Decoding Transportation Innovation: Exploring the Path to Automated Vehicles and Shared Mobility

June 12, 2020

We share our thoughts on how the concept of “smart mobility” is a total transportation solution.

By Kate Jack and Greg Rodriguez

In our recent webinar ‘Decoding Transportation Innovation: Exploring the Path to Automated Vehicles and Shared Mobility’, Stantec’s Kate Jack, Smart Mobility Operations Lead, and Greg Rodriguez, Mobility Policy Principal, discussed merging policy frameworks with deployments of innovation-driven mobility innovations like automated vehicles.

At a time when governments across the world are accelerating the use of artificial intelligence in response to COVID-19, autonomous driving technologies could play a key role in driving forward smart mobility solutions during the pandemic and beyond.

We explored the deployment of automated vehicles to enhance mobility and challenge existing approaches to transportation and housing policy, presenting the concept of “smart mobility” as a total transportation solution.

So, is smart mobility more than just technology?

In the session, we introduced why smart mobility must also encompass thinking about how people, places, policy, and mobility can be incorporated into planning to ensure our communities now and into the future are resilient, sustainable, equitable, and efficient.

We discussed there is now the opportunity for our communities to not only be visionary but also solutions driven and that the policy frameworks supporting the deployment of smart mobility innovations must be flexible and regularly updated as the advancement of new technologies like automated vehicles continue to evolve.

There is also the opportunity to not just deploy automated vehicles for the sake of checking an innovation-minded box, but to explore uses that fill transportation gaps and lead to the scaling and permanent deployment of the technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures have demonstrated that automated solutions need to be thought of as more than just passenger movement, but also to capitalize on opportunities to improve the delivery of goods and services, especially around groceries and health care.

In thinking about the opportunities to consider mobility and land use as new housing developments are planned and constructed, Kate and Greg propose rethinking development through a lens of Mobility Oriented Development. This incentivizes more efficient uses of space by decreasing car ownership, which supports reduced parking requirements and more opportunity to building much-needed and more affordable housing.

The theme of capitalizing on opportunities for innovation and mobility by building foundations focused on planning, pilots, people, and policy ­- was an important focus for the session. Additionally, we highlighted the critical role of data, including how to promote the responsible sharing of data to support healthier communities through safe streets, more mobility options, and the effective use of data for planning.

You can listen to the full session here. This webinar is part of our now online Developer Masterclass Series, in association with UK law firm, TLT.  


About the Authors

Kate and Greg are a part of the Smart Mobility Team at Stantec focused on merging research, policy, planning and technology integration to support the incorporation of transportation innovations in our communities to promote mobility options with to support a total transportation solution. 

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