Transportation Infrastructure Changes Need to Accommodate Autonomous Cars
GA- Enr.com writes that autonomous vehicles will be coming to the road in large numbers in the near future. Cities are going to need to accommodate and plan for the new smart vehicles so that when they arrive, they do not lead to traffic chaos.*
Across the United States, tech companies are already working with cities and the transportation industry to develop smart infrastructure. While it will take years before autonomous vehicles take over the roads, when they do, they will come with needs that differ from what is required by human drivers. The number of parking spaces needed will change, lane widths may be narrower, and curb design might have to be altered.
The changes will have to be tailored to various different locations as well. What will work in major cities might not fit the needs of rural areas or suburban neighborhoods. Not only will there be autonomous cars to accommodate, but there will still be pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, and probably other new types of micro-mobility devices.
Around the nation, various cities are serving as test sites for different new technology. In Georgia, the infrastructure added in 1996 for the Olympics is the base of the technological systems to come. The traffic signals in the state are being used to communicate with one another to provide real-time information regarding traffic and the condition of the pavement.
A pilot program started in Tampa, Florida, is already testing connected vehicles. In Jacksonville, electronic vehicles may be driving on a guideway that was developed for a monorail.
The changes are likely to take many years, but differences can already be seen in state transportation departments. Over the last decade, these organizations went from having no software engineers to having departments dedicated to these professionals working to pave the way to a high-tech future.
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