WHEN CARS DRIVE THEMSELVES

The paper describes some current transport trends in industrialised countries, and discusses the possible impact of new technology on future transport trends. Travel increases as the economy of a country develops. Although there are important variations year by year, different countries have remarkably consistent growth trends in car ownership. People's lifestyles and travel habits also make important contributions to traffic growth, which is dominated by cars. The very close linkage between transport and building infrastructure is very important, but remains unrecognised by all our institutions. New applications of electronics, computers, and communications to transport are now known as 'transport telematics' in Europe and 'intelligent transport systems' in the USA. They will be used to: (1) change travel demand, for example through telecommuting and the use of the Internet; (2) provide travel information, both before travel starts and during a journey; (3) modify the vehicles that we drive towards more automatic driving and increased engine efficiency; and (4) improve traffic control systems, for example by improving traffic signal settings in urban areas, smoothing traffic flows, and automatically collecting tolls. Thus many techniques and measures can be applied to counter the problems implied by the next 30 years' substantial traffic growth.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Royal Society of London

    6 Carleton House Terrace
    London SW1Y 5AG,   England 
  • Authors:
    • WOOTTON, J
  • Publication Date: 1995

Language

  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00722384
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1996 12:00AM