Intelligent transportation is expected to be the next breakthrough in technology, an innovation that would revolutionize the public transportation industry.
Speaking to a packed crowd at APTA’s Hall B Learning Zone, AECOM’s David DeRosa discussed what the future of mobility will look like with intelligent transportation and what his company is doing to develop smart, autonomous, and connected vehicles.
Currently, AECOM is conducting case studies with different technologies across in the country.
In Miami, the transportation company is testing “connected vehicle” technology with a corridor study. The concept is that with a set corridor length, a smart vehicle can communicate with stop lights and plan out its travel time.
Dubbed “green wave,” the vehicle will slow down to meet green lights down the road, rather than having to stop for red lights.
DeRosa said he expects connected vehicles to improve traffic flow and safety.
Focusing on safety, AECOM is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to test autonomous vehicles in adverse weather conditions, such as snow and ice. It is estimated that almost 50% of vehicles purchased in the U.S. will experience extreme weather conditions during their lifetime, so safety is a top priority.
In Utah, AECOM is working with state university researchers on the “electrified roadway concept,” a wireless charging option for electric vehicles. Rather than stopping a vehicle and plugging it into a charging station, the electric vehicle simply pulls into a lane that is equipped with an electronic charging strip so the vehicle can charge as it continues to drive.
On a national level, DeRosa said that the U.S. House and Senate are both in the process of passing legislation that is seen as “favorable” to the autonomous vehicle industry, which will make adopting the vehicles and putting them in circulation much easier for transportation companies.