Technology has shaped our lives in ways we could never have anticipated. This influence allows us to be more connected and productive, and changes the way we travel. The Regional Plan explores current technology trends that could improve our existing infrastructure and enhance safety, as well as provide more mobility choices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- Shared mobility: With technology, it is possible to access shared cars, bikes, scooters, and rides on demand by using a mobile application. Shared mobility can challenge the long-held reliance on personal vehicles for travel, providing communities with more travel options. Transit service also benefits from technology through improved operations, fare collection, scheduling, and routing of transit service.
- Electrification: Within the past decade, we saw a significant shift toward the use of electric vehicles (EVs), which play a role in reducing vehicle emissions and improving air quality. The influx of EVs creates a critical need for public charging infrastructure. Current initiatives are focused on expanding available vehicle charging infrastructure, including deploying inductive or wireless charging technology in the roadways, allowing EV users to charge while they drive.
- Connectivity: Connection to the internet allows smart cars and infrastructure to communicate with each other and other connected devices. Connectivity offers a variety of benefits, including improved safety for all modes, smoother traffic flow, and more reliable public transit. Connectivity also allows more people to work from home instead of traveling to work. Regular telework, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 140% since 2005.
- Smart mobility: Automated vehicles (AVs) can operate without a human driver, providing an opportunity to improve access to populations that cannot drive such as older adults or people with disabilities. Additionally, more than 90% of vehicle accidents are due to human error, so AVs have the possibility to drastically reduce the number of collisions and fatalities on our roadways.
In April 2021, SANDAG updated our Emerging Technologies White Paper to reflect the latest research of these transportation-related trends. The objective of the white paper is to present technological and societal trends that have the potential to radically change how the region’s transportation system is used in the future. Addressing potential policy considerations will enable the region to harness the benefits while reducing the negative aspects of these trends. The white paper will help inform the transportation network development process.