I want to start by reflecting on what the interaction between cars and transport systems will be.
The need for personal transportation (the equivalent of a car for most people) will only increase as the population increases. Cars and transportation systems will be increasingly oriented to accommodate multiple passengers per vehicle. A journey will be made between 2 vehicles, with one being driven by the occupant of the vehicle, who does not necessarily use it for commuting (this will only be possible if the same transport systems and systems will facilitate autonomous driving). Such an arrangement could be referred to as a mode of transportation, since cars and transport systems will serve a different purpose, compared to a permanent residence.
If personal transport systems are intelligent systems, and drivers can be considered intelligent systems, then their existence must become increasingly relevant to transportation systems. Such an alignment of technology with transport systems means that if the intelligent transportation systems develop further, in order to serve multiple occupants in a single vehicle (driving from one destination to another), the intelligent transport systems must be intelligent transportation systems.
The development of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is already underway. I have written about this topic extensively on this website and I am not the only one interested in the future impact of automated transport. This article is intended to enable those who might want to embark on this topic, to consider the implications for transportation systems.
In terms of personal transport, AVs do not necessarily offer personal transportation in a wide area or extend beyond the personal vehicle. Some have expressed the opinion that there is a massive disruption occurring in the personal transport area, driven by the development of AVs. I disagree. AVs have a potential role in all personal transport systems and do not alter the need for transportation systems to be connected to intelligent transport systems. Such a connection will affect the way that personal transport systems behave, but in ways that are desirable for personal transportation systems.
Some have expressed concern about AVs potentially reducing the need for personal transport. However, this is not necessarily the case. In my view, this concern is fundamentally a misunderstanding of how AVs will eventually operate, compared to the personal transport that is currently in existence. Therefore, my argument is that there is no need for concern with AVs, when transport systems do not experience a disruption in their existing operation.
I believe there will be significant disruption in the personal transport sector (or what is typically referred to as personal transportation), but this will not be the result of AVs. Instead, the possibility of transport systems being connected to intelligent transportation systems will have a significant impact on how personal transport operates.
This disruption will initially happen in two steps. Firstly, in the introduction of AVs into personal transportation systems, new ways of making sense of the available data will occur.