Motorway Mobility

Lead Participant: Connected Places Catapult

Abstract

Motorway Mobility is a truly innovative concept that breaks the boundaries of conventional thinking. It is a vision that is aiming at the first global deployment of autonomous vehicles at significant scale to create a new type of public transport. The concept can be imagined as a new rail network, for which our existing motorways are the rails and automated vehicles are the self-propelled carriages. Motorway Mobility could realise a huge number of benefits: • Far more convenient public transport for inter-urban journeys, with ‘turn up and go’ services operating 24 hours per day. • Creation of new transport interchanges that could lead to new housing, commercial development and retail opportunities around interchanges. • Reduced congestion, vehicle miles travelled and air pollution by providing an alternative to long private car journeys. • Reduced number and severity of road accidents on motorways, through a combination of less traffic and vehicles with automated systems that do not get distracted or fall asleep. • Mobility for those who are unable to drive, which might include those who are too young or too old, those with disabilities or simply those who cannot afford to learn to drive, purchase and run a vehicle. These groups often are the most disadvantaged members of society. Fully automated vehicles are a key emerging technology that could fundamentally change our conceptions of mobility, accessibility, safety and congestion. However, the speed at which the technology will develop and the rate of uptake is unclear. Whilst it is plausible that autonomy may emerge widely and rapidly, it is also possible that it will involve a more gradual process of adoption where road infrastructure plays a significant role. The project represents a crucial major step towards the Motorway Mobility vision by compiling a high-level business case. The feasibility of trial locations will be investigated alongside the feasibility of developing an autonomous electric passenger vehicle.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Connected Places Catapult £75,000

Publications

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