The conversation about the transformative potential of self-driving vehicles has quickly progressed into the offices of urban planners around the nation.
Urban planning, much like infrastructure, is a permanent investment in the life of our cities’ urban fabric.
As a profession it has a history of generally assuming that the technology of tomorrow (5, 10 or 20 years from now) will be much the same as that of today.
Although consideration is given to the growth in demand, changing land use patterns and increasing costs of transport – we are on the cusp of the introduction of a paradigm-shifting technology: Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs).
A key objective for future city planning should be to increase job options and infrastructure efficiency through diverse mobility.
The first step in ensuring that cities adapt to the introduction of CAVs is for government to develop and adopt strategies for urban planning and mobility planning that includes CAVs, bearing in mind that roads will be important real estate for many businesses.
So, how will cities need to change and adapt to support this future?
Imagine a future where:
By 2023, we have achieved Level 4 vehicle autonomy, i.e. it will be legal to operate driverless vehicles on freeways, highways and arterial roads;
By 2025, Level 5 taxibots (driverless taxis) will be operational on a limited basis;
By 2025, online/on-demand activity will account for 25% of retail "sales + last mile", delivery will be cost free;
By 2030, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will dominate personal travel choices; and
By 2030, Level 5 vehicle autonomy will have radically changed journey to work patterns and car parking.
Ensuring that our urban design facilitates mobility solutions for all people, rather than just ownership for the elite few who can afford it, must be a priority.
With CAVs and their obvious benefits (work while you commute, improved commute times etc.) the threat of thousands more commuters choosing to drive/be driven to work is a realistic future.
In parallel, designing to incentivise active transport in response to the case of AV use becomes critical.
From a design perspective, what happens to carparks if vehicles are constantly in motion and not parking?
Should retail centre carparks be repurposed? How does design facilitate integration of AV and public transport use?
Does more street parking need to be reserved for drop offs? Much of our public space – as much as 80 per cent – is currently dedicated to roads, and perhaps this needs to be reconsidered if a mix of transport options, as in Mobility as a Service (MaaS), becomes the dominant option.
This second episode of Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI) Hypothetical Webinar Series will be set in the near future with a range of leading experts and will focus on the impact of AVs on planning and land use.
Featured panellists include ADVI executive director & IPWEA vice president Rita Excell; MacoPlan Dimasi executive chairman Brian Haratsis; Smart Cities SMEC principal advisor Dorte Ekelund and NSW Department of Planning & Environment chief planner Gary White.
Join us on Thursday 26th July at 3:00PM AEST.
Registration for this FREE webinar is essential.
Simply click here and create your free account to register.
After registering, you will be sent a reminder email and a link.
Please note – this session will commence at 3:00 PM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time). As time zones will vary for attendees, please check your own time zone.
It is recommended that you connect to the webinar 15 minutes prior to allow sufficient time for potential connection delays.
The recording will also be made available to registrants who are unable to attend the live broadcast.
Main image: Ministry of Transport
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