Efficient Transportation - Does the Future Lie in Vehicle Technologies or in Transportation Systems?
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Transportation is one of the most fundamental aspects of modern society; a key enabler of the many other ways modern man has developed. This paper assesses the issue of transportation from both a high-level and more detailed perspective to provide a holistic picture of the current landscape for potential transportation efficiency improvement – along both congestion-related and environmental sustainability dimensions.
First, we present a literature review of a broad range of transportation-related issues and categorize them into a framework distinguishing the unique roles of vehicle technologies, transportation system design, and what we term ‘fusion’ technologies – focusing on the emergent fields of connected vehicles and autonomous driving.
We conclude that traditional focus on vehicle technologies and transportation systems - while still holding value along the environmental sustainability dimension - are reaching a plateau of effectiveness in addressing the congestion issues of tomorrow. We believe that more disruptive changes are necessary in the form of greater adoption and integration of information systems and data capture and analysis. We validate our conclusions with in-depth discussion around each of the key technologies surrounding all three lines of enquiry of our framework and focus on demonstrating the immense benefits, as well as key challenges, that emergent fusion technologies hold; urging that a greater emphasis be redirected towards these areas by the research community.
KeywordsTransportation infrastructure Traffic models Vehicle technology Transportation systems Smart cities Smart traffic Decision support
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