Getting from A to B by road

Coming autonomous road transportation and drones will impact everything from highway traffic patterns to inner city congestion to commercial parking infrastructure and change the way we get ourselves and things from A to B. Read on to see how your organisation can take early adopter advantage in this trillions of dollars future marketplace.
What is changing?


  • The presence of automation will influence both transportation network capacity (travel “supply”) and the demand for travel.
  • Moving to low-carbon transport could increase global investment capacity by trillions or result in net costs.
  • Driverless cars will be “an absolute game-changer” for transportation.


  • A new low-temperature, asphalt technique for building roads could save thetransport industry £46.2 million in energy costs in the next ten years.


  • Self-driving vehicles will have the ability not just to transport goods but also to combine other process steps such as loading and unloading in order to increase efficiency of processes.
  • ICT will be used for communicating between surveillance systems, transportation sectors, control centers and service providers for providing traffic management, building management, security services etc.
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure communication capabilities and anonymous information from passengers’ wireless devices relayed through dedicated short-range connections could provide transportation agencies with improved traffic, transit and parking data.
  • Governments are looking for ways to transfer risks and responsibilities for managing transportation systems to the private sector.
  • Private companies will take on the early risks and figure out the logistics of a sustainable business model.
  • Carrying a paper ticket or pass will become a thing of the past as travel entitlement is written to smartcards and mobile phones.
  • Connected cars will be able to use internet sensors to find free parking spaces and avoid road works.
  • ICT will be used for communicating between surveillance systems, transportation sectors, control centers and service providers for providing traffic management, building management, security services.
  • Intelligent pantographs will insure eHighway vehicles are just as flexible as conventional vehicles.
  • An all-new fully electric fleet will be integrated into the public transportation system in Denmark.
  • DWPT will enable long-distance travel for electric vehicles without the need to stop and boost batteries by using underground charging infrastructure installed along motorways and major trunk roads.

Sharing economy

  • Driverless cars that are shared could provide a level of independent mobility similar to the personal vehicle while providing the environmental sustainability of public transportation.
  • Creating platoons of big rigs across America’s highways will require fleets from different companies to communicate with each other.
  • 90 percent of new cars will be enabled through extensive connectivity platforms.
  • On-demand transportation companies will crop up in most metropolitan areas with large fleets of vehicles poised to meet consumer demand.


  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) will be the most important safety technology for fleets in 2020.
  • The U.K.’s Department for Transport will require self-driving cars to record information like speed.
  • Automakers are already developing cars that can anticipate a driver’s heart attack or sudden disability to bring the vehicle to a safe halt.
  • Future trends indicate that higher safety will be achieved by automatic driving controls and a growing number of sensors both on the road infrastructure and the vehicle itself.
  • AVs will increase safety and mitigate inefficiencies in transportation systems.


  • De-synchronizing work schedules could help spread the congestion peak observed in public transportation at the beginning and end of standard office hours.
  • Regulatory bodies could find ways to reduce barriers of entry and encouragecompetition among private firms seeking to provide transportation services in all modes.
  • There’s real risk that urban planning, mobility systems, and food systems wouldn’t be able to integrate the new technologies effectively.
  • Cities will face the question of who should run the fleets of driverless cars.
  • Unnecessary traffic signs will be removed.
  • Unmanned systems in the air or the ground should be able to transport supplies in the not too distant future.
  • Average transport distance across all modes will increase 12%.
  • Transport Systems (ITS) will require vision and cooperation between policy makers, OEMs, technology suppliers and infrastructure providers.
  • An autonomous and interconnected transportation ecosystem could greatly reduce all of the current transport-related burdens and create many environmental, social and economic benefits for future generations.
  • Billions will be saved as a result of increased safety and the reduction of transportation inefficiencies.
  • Cities and suburbs will need modern parking regulations and street design.
  • One might envision planned residential communities or large office parks that are designed to have their transportation needs met by AVs.


  • Ridesharing companies such as Uber will care less about incremental features that add to personalization or comfort and more about gas efficiency and cost.
  • A fleet of self-driving shared cars combined with high-capacity public transport could make 90% of conventional cars in mid-sized cities superfluous under certain circumstances.
  • Cars suited to the low-CO2 society of the next decade will need to absorb cost increases of at least US$2,500 per vehicle.


  • The off-road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods.
  • Testing virtual reality to improve transport will soon be possible in Milton Keynes.


  • People will need more durable or antiseptic materials to promote and ease the shared use of cars.
  • Drone delivery could greatly reduce emissions associated with transport.

Learn More
What future opportunities and risks could arise for your organization from advances in autonomous road transportation? Develop your answer and response here.

Find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow’s ‘Getting from A to B by road’ some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made and free, in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailed GIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you.

Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.


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