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Recap: Lessons from the Sharing Economy for the Autonomous Vehicle Future

Webinar featuring Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley and Mike Manville, UCLA

Autonomous vehicles hold enormous potential – a future with self-driving cars could mean safer streets, less congestion, and increased equity. These benefits are particularly promising when autonomous vehicle technology meets shared mobility companies like Uber and Lyft. But how close are we to that future? Professor Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley and Associate Professor Michael Manville of UCLA talked about this difficult issue during a webinar hosted by the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.

We are still some time away from truly autonomous vehicles. There are five stages of automation: level 4 means you can occasionally take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel and level 5 means completely self-driving vehicles. No large-scale deployments of level 4 or 5 automation exist, but that will change soon.

“What I think we’re going to see as we move into 2017 and beyond is more of these highly automated or fully automated deployments,” explained Professor Shaheen. Companies like Uber and Tesla are already starting to scale up autonomous vehicle experiments.

When autonomous vehicles do roll out in larger numbers, it will likely be in limited scenarios. Cities like Columbus and San Francisco are working on low-speed autonomous shuttles that will offer a relatively safe way to study this technology. Pilot projects like these could pave the way for autonomous transit well-suited to areas currently underserved by public transportation.

The future of autonomous vehicles is not without issues. Professor Shaheen pointed out that self-driving cars could increase driving, especially if people own their own private autonomous vehicles. Is a world saturated with self-driving cars one in which public transit is obsolete?

Autonomous vehicles have significant potential as tools of shared […]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|

UCLA Researchers Present at the 2017 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

 

Every year UCLA students and faculty fly out to Washington DC for the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.  The conference is held every January and provides researchers, students, and transportation professionals with the opportunity to share the latest research into all things transportation.  The theme for the 96th annual conference for 2017 was Transportation Innovation: Leading the Way in an Era of Rapid Change and as usual UCLA was well represented, presenting the latest research on fourteen different sessions and panels. 

Two notable awards were presented at the event to UCLA ITS members.  Director Brian Taylor and UCLA alumn co-authors Eric Morris and Jeffrey Brown were awarded the Wootan Award for their paper Negotiating a Financial Package for Freeways:  How California’s Collier–Burns Highway Act Helped Pave the Way for the Era of the American Interstate Highway.  The award is presented annually to exceptional papers in the fields of policy and organization.  In the paper the authors use government and legislative text to point out the ways California’s 1947 Collier-Burns Highway Act provided a financial blueprint that eventually influenced transportation finance on a nationwide scale.

Recent graduate Severin Martinez, MURP ’16, was awarded the 2017 Neville Parker Award for his paper Who Wins When Streets Lose Lanes?  An Analysis of Safety on Road Diet Corridors in Los Angeles.  Recognized as the best transportation policy planning capstone project in the country, the award was bestowed by the Council of University Transportation Centers. Martinez examines the effects of “classic road diets”, or the reduction in through traffic lanes to make room for a center turn lane.  By comparing rates of collision on five Los Angeles streets receiving this cost-effective treatment, Martinez’s research reveals a significant reduction in crash and injury rates. 

The Department of Urban Planning’s distinguished professor […]

By |February 2nd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|