Why autonomous transport needs reforming of transport infrastructure
Alongside the technological development, autonomous driving is getting more and more in-demand. However, the massive adoption of the autonomous transport will become possible only in case of reformed infrastructure. The British and Canadian firm Gowling WLG gave the reasons. The company has a wide range of legal practice, in particular, in projects related to the reorganization of the infrastructure.
What problems do researchers see before the implementation of the autonomous transport?
Lack of investments and expertise
Researches of Gowling WLG conducted in the UK have shown that CAV (connected and autonomous vehicles) will be able to demonstrate their full functionality only in case they get into the corresponding infrastructure.
“Currently, the UK does not have the level of connectivity needed to support autonomous transport vehicles. To overcome this problem, many researches and significant investments are needed,” researchers say.
Lack of charging stations
Mounting of a big number of charging stations is one of the important conditions of the transport infrastructure reformation, as the majority of autonomous vehicles are electric cars.
The most difficult and important task here is to define how to locate charging stations with the most of efficiency. Stations located near houses and offices seem to be an obvious choice, but it is also important to consider locations near supermarkets prior to drafting a map of stations.
The UK is already dealing with the solution of this problem. For example, Milton Keynes (the city that participates in the special project of T&P “Smart cities”) conducts research to detect the most efficient locations for charging electric cars. Besides, the company studies the ways to recharge a car while driving in case that too many stations will be required and there will be a need to equip roads with other technologies.
Unprepared road markings and signs
Another example of required changes in the infrastructure is the adaptation of road markings and signs. Their visibility has to be maintained in ideal state independently of the season. Besides, the arrangement of pedestrian crossings and difficult junctions has to be reconsidered as well, as autonomous vehicles will find it difficult to respond to the situation on the road without identifying signs. Controllable signs are likely to be a solution in most of cases.
Appearance of autonomous vehicles on public roads requires thorough preparation: guarantees are required that the infrastructure will cope with the changes brought by them. Charging, road markings, and signs are just some aspects of the physical infrastructure that need to be studied in order to prepare roads for the future.
The scenario according to which autonomous transport infrastructure can develop in Russia will be highlighted at the Connected Car Conference by Konstantin Trofimenko, the Director of the Research Center for Megapolis Transportation Problems at Higher School of Economics.
To listen to the expert’s presentation, register to the event that will take place in Moscow on May 23.