9/9/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

How to Implement Automated Transportation

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What are the challenges to launching automated transportation?

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What are the challenges to launching automated transportation? Consumer acceptance, clear regulations and more on-road testing are among them, according to a panel at the ITS World Congress in Detroit.

Japan may have the world's most advanced roadmap to automated vehicles. Four of its ministries collaborated last year to produce Japan Roadmap for Automation, an extraordinarily detailed white paper that spells out specific goals, strategies and timelines to implement an intelligent transportation system on a nationwide scale by 2030.

Japan's ambitious goal is to cut annual traffic fatalities to 2,500 by 2018 from about 4,400 in 2013 and create the world's safest roads by 2020.

Other panelists describe challenges to implementation. Dominique Doucet, product marketing and external communication director for Valeo SA, says a vehicle's speed is inversely related to consumer willingness to accept self-driving capabilities. He notes that the industry introduced automated driving first as a self-parking feature, then moved to automatic braking and low-speed lane-following for stop-and-go traffic conditions.

Implementing automated transportation will require success in two tracks: technology and policy, says Malcolm Dougherty, director of California's Dept. of Transportation. He says California expects in January to finalize comprehensive regulations governing self-driving vehicles. He also is confident that the insurance industry will determine liability issues.

In Europe, research on automated vehicles is driven first by a desire to reduce death and injury on the road, followed by congestion and pollution issues, according to panelist Angelos Amditis, research director for Greece's Institute of Communication and Computer Systems.

Like Dougherty, Amditis cites the need for clearer regulations governing automatic vehicles. Europe has successfully demonstrated platooning in multiple tests over the past eight years. But he notes the region's current regulations require the driver to be in control.