In the short-term, technology changes are likely to make real time travel information more readily available.
This will help us plan our travel more easily, help avoid the worst impacts of congestion, and help deliver improved and real time solutions (for example, dynamic traffic light sequencing, faster responses to incidents, or changing the allocation of street space between uses).
In the medium to longer-term, developing technologies like connected and autonomous vehicles, especially when combined with ride-sharing, have the potential to fundamentally reshape the way transport is provided and used and blur the boundaries between private and public transport.
These developments could create a number of benefits, including:
- increasing the number of vehicles that can travel on a road at the same time (particularly on motorways), lowering congestion and reducing the need for road widening
- reducing deaths and serious injuries from traffic incidents
- new travel choices for everyone, regardless of age and ability, and to parts of Auckland difficult to efficiently serve with traditional public transport (e.g. rural areas).
While rapid technological progress is anticipated, it's hard to know which developments will be successful or when we will be able to use them.
Realising benefits from technology will require us to focus on trials, safety, enabling regulation and supporting infrastructure.
How this can be done
Efforts to maximise the benefits of transport technologies must:
- encourage innovation and support a 'fail fast' culture where a wide variety of new transport ideas can be tested, adapted, developed or discarded
- boost the use of big data and open data to improve travel information for Aucklanders, support better network management decisions, and provide effective demand management tools
- encourage the uptake of new technologies such as more intelligent network management, connected and autonomous vehicles, and vehicle sharing.