Technology impacts all aspects of transportation, and these technologies are ever evolving. Local agencies need guidance on how to plan for uncertainties in the future of transportation. Decision makers want to understand how technologies could change travel behaviors and land use patterns, when these impacts are likely to occur, and what additional infrastructure or policy changes, if any, agencies may need to support the future travel demands.
A Kittelson-led team worked with the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to complete the first phase of a $31 million, three-phase Automated Vehicle (AV) 2.0 program to advance the North Texas region through planning, partnership, and investment into AVs and other transformational technology pilot deployments. This included developing a handbook for local agencies on best practices of hosting AV deployments, market analysis of emerging transportation technologies, a financial assessment of revenue impacts and funding sources, and lesson plans for students to learn about automation.
Our multidisciplinary team, which included Hummingbird Firm, Public Information Associates, Southern Methodist University (SMU), C&M Associates, Alliance Transportation Group (ATG), Consumer and Market Insights (CMI), and Purdue University, was also the first to apply the new AV capacity adjustment factors from the Highway Capacity Manual 7th Edition to the region’s travel demand model to simulate three potential future technology scenarios.
Setting the Stage for Emerging Technologies in North Central Texas
Through this proactive planning, NCTCOG has the stage for the region to be an active player in the deployment of emerging technologies. North Central Texas communities now have unified plans to use technology to solve local and regional transportation needs. These tools will help the region apply for deployment funding, educate decision makers, and motivate the next generation workforce.