The future of driving is here.
Attendees of a transportation forum May 28 were led through a lesson of sorts by industry experts who shared details about autonomous vehicle technology and other leading-edge innovations set to transform the transportation marketplace.
“This new mobility paradigm presents some challenges, but many more opportunities to expand mobility options and really create smart cities of tomorrow,” said Jennifer DeBruhl, chief of public transportation for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.
Brad Hunter, vice chairman of Hampton Roads Transit, said transit officials know the importance of looking forward and being proactive in finding ways to prepare for the future.
The discussion revved up with Valerie Sathe Brugeman, assistant director of transportation systems for the independent Center for Automotive Research.
She explained the technology, the reality versus the hype surrounding it, and the promise it holds for the future of mobility.
Her talk focused on the emerging technologies – automated, connected, electrified and shared – what they are, where they might be going and what are the opportunities with them.
DeBruhl moderated the panel which included: Richard Wolsfeld, senior officer, AECOM’s North America Transportation Business Line; Leonard Wolfenstein, head of the transportation planning section, Fairfax County Department of Transportation; Reginald Viray, faculty researcher, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and Brugeman.
Wolfenstein said they have been actively working toward creating a smart city in the Fairfax region.
“If you want to build a bridge, design a road or even start a transit service, there are manuals out there to do that,” he said. “But if you want to learn to start an autonomous shuttle, there ain’t no manual for that.”
Referring to it as a journey of discovery, Wolfenstein said they are on their way.
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Courtesy photo, HRT