The need for deeper cross-sector collaboration is seen to be more critical than further technology development to deliver the ambition for autonomous vehicles – This is according to a select group of experts in Los Angeles last week.
The 2019 global Future of Autonomous Vehicles open foresight project kicked off on March 28 with a workshop kindly hosted by LA Metro. Bringing together 25 experts from across business, government and research, this was the first of 12 events taking place around the world to help demystify the pathways to large scale deployment of self-driving vehicles over the next decade: As investment in and regulation to support the roll-out of autonomous transport builds, many are asking questions about timescales, business models and which will be the pivotal technologies. This major Future Agenda project is working with multiple partners in key locations all seeking to build and share an informed global view.
The Los Angeles discussion highlighted multiple issues for the successful deployment of autonomous vehicles – ranging from changing consumer attitudes and building regulatory support to rethinking urban planning and addressing safety concerns. Although several leaders are increasingly confident that the required technologies are being developed and proven in several controlled environments, many are cautious that progress may be limited on a successful transition to urban streets. The single critical factor highlighted numerous times is that of greater and deeper collaboration not only between public and private interests but also across public bodies.
Ten key questions were raised:
- How can funding to support AV deployment integrate private and public sources?
- What will be the new infrastructure ownership models so that all contribute fairly?
- Should cities tax robots using its roads and sidewalks to help pay for capital investment?
- How will private stakeholders recognize that collaboration is essential to business goals?
- Can private company profit motives be aligned with pubic good? If so, how?
- Where can global common standards and open data sets have greatest impact?
- Will companies be willing to share their data and not focus solely on monetizing it?
- How can single payment systems operate across multi-modal private / public transport?
- How will OEMs partner more deeply with road operators on coordinating automated fleets?
- Which oversight entities will have the power and influence to drive a shared vision?
How more effective collaboration to enable these can be addressed, especially in large, complex transport systems such as those in cities like Los Angeles is evidently a major future challenge and one where many agree that greater focus should be applied.
As the Future of Autonomous Vehicles project moves round the world to cities including Singapore, London, Melbourne, Shenzhen, Tokyo and Frankfurt, these and additional issues will be explored further via multiple expert workshops. For more details please get in touch.