Consultancy to Cities: Adapt to CAVs or Die

A consultancy is claiming cities that don’t adapt their infrastructure to meet the requirements of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will become uncompetitive.

In its Citizens in Motion report, design and engineering consultancy Arcadis argues level 4 and 5 CAVs represent a potentially major source of “disruption” to urban transportation. In his introduction, global cities director John Batten warns they “threaten to disrupt the status quo in a way that is inconsistent with a city’s aims and the interests of its citizens and visitors”.

The study examines the differing approaches taken by 14 cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney. It then expounds various ‘lessons’ that can be learnt from these cities’ varying CAV experiences. For example, Amsterdam is praised for its “intelligent road network”, but is also noted as facing “pressures on bicycle infrastructure”. Los Angeles’ “weak ride-sharing culture” is also criticized.

The study calls for a model of CAV adoption that is “healthy and safe”, as well as “citizen-centric”. It argues that in order to do this, city councils must collaborate with the private sector to improve their transportation networks in a way that supports CAVs.

In its conclusions, Arcadis asserts that widespread urban adoption of CAVs is an “inevitability” that civic authorities must “proactively respond to … in a way that works best for them and their citizens”. It claims they can do this if they “encourage ride-sharing”, “engage with the private sector”, “work towards MaaS” and allow CAV operators to carry out pilot schemes within city limits.

 

 


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