Rapid advances in technology and the extraordinary volume of data created by individuals and organisations
is changing yet another aspect of our lives. That is, the way we move around our towns and cities. It’s easier to plan and undertake our journeys now, whether we’re travelling by road or rail. But the sophisticated maps, real-time travel updates and contactless payment options are just the beginning of a more significant digital transformation.
Artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things and big data will soon reshape our travel experience, from the moment we decide there is somewhere we need to go to the time we arrive at our destination. Technology is already advanced enough to enable some vehicles – from lorries to subway trains and even our own cars – to drive themselves. But there are a lot of physical, behavioural, safety and legislative obstacles to overcome before we can embrace the newest wave of innovation and take our hands off the wheel with confidence.
In several cities, teams of experts are putting the technology and the supporting infrastructure to the test ahead of a full-scale roll-out. But a recent study shows people around the world are ‘curious, but hesitant’ about being in the back seat.1
They’re also weighing up the potential cost of these advanced features. A significant number of consumers
who responded to a survey by a professional services firm said the car makers should be the ones paying to bring new technology to market. Gen Z were willing to pay the most for a high-tech solution. Millennials were also accepting of the additional cost.
But their cautious approach hasn’t stopped the two generations thinking about the future and looking forward to the other benefits driverless cars will bring. Our research found Gen Z would using the time they would usually spend driving watching more films, blogging and gaming instead. Millennials would like to spend the extra time reading.
Source: Global Automotive Consumer Insight Platform, Deloitte
BARRIERS TO ADOPTION
We’re working closely with industry partners and the UK Government to understand the implications of driverless technology for everyday road users; infrastructure owners and operators; and car makers. We’re trying to identify the ways in which our streets and public spaces will need to change to accommodate autonomous vehicles and how quickly we need to adapt.
In 2017, researchers studied many cities around the world that were getting ready for autonomous vehicles, whether that was through small-scale testing, or changes to policy and legislation. In doing so, they identified a number of barriers to the adoption of driverless technology. Representatives of 30 urban areas told researchers the challenges they face include a lack of funding and the capacity to manage pilot projects.2
The research also looked at some of the potential uses of the technology. Many cities were planning to use autonomous vehicles to bridge gaps in existing transport provision, the so-called ‘last mile’.3
Source: Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles Survey (2017) with 38 cities responding