Opportunities and challenges for automated vehicles (individual, public and freight transport)

Since several years many developments regarding self-driving, automated vehicles (AVs) take place. Within the coming years it is expected that automated vehicles are becoming part of our transportation system. Therefore it’s becoming more and more important for policy makers to get insights into the state-of-the-art developments around AVs, in order to foster applications of AVs which are promising from a societal point of view and to take these developments into consideration during the decision-making process.

Definition and function of automation
Automation in this study refers to the transport system including all of its components, such as vehicles, drivers, users, infrastructure, information systems and applications. The level in which the driver is still ‘in the loop’ is used in order to discriminate between the different levels of vehicle automation: driver assistance (level 1), partial automation (level 2), conditional automation (level 3) and high/full automation (level 4).
In this study, our aim is to analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to different applications of automation for autonomous private vehicles, freight transport and handling, and public transport. The potential of different applications of AVs in the Zuidvleugel in this study is strictly considered from a societal perspective (demand driven), in which AVs have a societal contribution to answer challenges the Zuidvleugel will face the upcoming years. Each application of automation is analyzed based on its functional ability to contribute to more agglomeration power of the Randstad Zuidvleugel, which in turn can improve the position of the Randstad Zuidvleugel relative to other European metropolitan areas.

We can conclude that a variety of (developments of) applications of automation exist in the Netherlands and worldwide regarding autonomous vehicles, freight and public transportation. We see several opportunities for the Zuidvleugel to benefit from these developments. Some of them are relevant for the short term (4 years), whereas other developments need more time to may be applied.

Read more: Essay TU Delft and Presentation workshop automated vehicles

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