Last modified on May 31, 2024

Autonomous Vehicles – An opportunity for Cities Course: learn about AVs from A to Z!

Autonomous Vehicles – An opportunity for Cities Course: learn about AVs from A to Z!

31 May 2024

While reports about crashes caused by driverless cars may rise safety concerns and cause reservations, one should not forget that 90% of car accidents are due to human error. AVs can not only correct such shortcomings, but also increase inclusion and accessibility within our cities: AVs can provide more flexible schedules and on-demand options for public transportation, as well as additional routes to better connect rural areas. Conventional buses that drive autonomously (as is currently piloted in Madrid, as part of the European project SHOW), autonomous shuttles that feed into larger public transport networks or run on closed areas like airports, hospitals and campuses, along with smaller shuttles, on-demand robotaxis and other autonomous shared vehicles, are already being tested in different cities.

However this requires changes in urban infrastructure. The way we currently plan urban infrastructure for the next 30 years will impact autonomous vehicles. On the other hand, the investments needed for autonomous vehicles are very costly, which is a clear obstacle.

Other challenges include regulation, which is, to make the matter worse, a very slow process:

  • Driving codes to address the adaptations to traffic rules, technical vehicle conditions and driving licences that AVs will imply;
  • Local regulations already developed that vary from region to region;
  • Difficulty to get the permits to test AVs in cities
  • Liability for accidents and potential damages

Moreover there is the question of automation impacts on people who are currently working in driving positions like taxi drivers and bus drivers. So the infrastructure needs to be worth it for the public, planners and other decision-makers need to engage with everyday people and have them engaged in these discussions too.

This is one aim of this free course, co-authored by Maria Kopp, mobility consultant at Factual: “to make sure to have people on board and understand the technology”. The course explains and helps understanding:

  • the possibilities offered by automation in urban contexts and their applications.
  • the regulatory and infrastructural requirements for deployment.
  • the role of AVs in urban sustainability, considering environmental, social, and economic impacts.

This course introduces the infrastructural, regulatory, and commercial challenges and approaches of shaping an autonomous future with a special emphasis on sustainable AV deployment in urban mobility ecosystems. It is open to everyone, including mobility professionals, urban planners, and individuals interested in the practical deployment of autonomous vehicles in urban environments. It is designed to accommodate participants with varying levels of expertise.

Source: The original article was published here