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Will 2017 be the year of driverless cars?

Things are moving fast in the automotive industry, and many believe that 2017 will mark a new beginning for connected and automated vehicles.

 

Driverless Future

You’ve heard about driverless cars, right? We’re talking about real cars that can actually drive themselves around, thanks to radar, lidar and other technological devices.

Things are moving fast in the automotive industry, and many believe that 2017 will mark a new beginning for connected and automated vehicles. Still, on Facebook, comments on autonomous vehicles articles show that people have mixed feelings. Some just don’t want to give away their freedom to drive, others don’t trust these futuristic computers on wheels. And so on.

But driverless cars are not futuristic anymore. There is currently a lot of testing and self-driving going on. In case you missed it, Uber is testing driverless taxis in Pittsburgh, nuTonomy is doing the same in Singapore, Budweiser has used a driverless truck to deliver beer (sure, it was a publicity stunt), etc.

Driverless vehicles are for real. Japan is working on an ambitious plan to have a self-driving vehicle force for the 2020 Summer Olympics. As stated in Forbes, the project has full support from government and industry leaders. “Hiroshige Seko, head of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, recently emphasized the importance of supporting the Japanese auto industry toward maintaining its technological advantages in the marketplace and developing autonomous driving tech in the shorter term.”

Sweden also has its driverless agenda, as do many other countries and transport agencies across the world. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has been involved in many projects. Our experts are on the field, testing connected vehicles, writing white papers on the impacts of driverless cars, and answering questions.

Our Special Report on Mobility

We wanted to know more about the challenges as well as the opportunities made possible by driverless technology. We spoke with our experts to find out what was going on and we produced a special report, now available at driverless.wsp-pb.com. (The document is also available in French at voiture-autonome.wsp-pb.com) The report is a must-read for any transport agency, transit authority or government official who works in transport planning. Topics covered include:

More recently, we also spoke with Lauren Isaac, manager of Sustainable Transportation at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in the United States. Lauren is at the forefront of the connected and automated technology industry, and she believes that the coming years will be transformational, with more technological advancement in the transport industry. Read Are We Ready for Driverless Cars and watch her spring 2016 Tedx Talk in Sacramento.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.