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Infrastructure Victoria: automated vehicles and the year 2046


For almost 12 months Infrastructure Victoria has been conducting research into what is relevant for the state of Victoria to prepare for the introduction of highly automated and zero emissions road vehicles on the state’s roads. Ahead of the final advice to the Victorian Government, Infrastructure Victoria has published an evidence base report, a look ahead to how roads might be used, and needs change, between now and the year 2046.

Evidence Base Report: Advice on Automated and Zero Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure is the result of a wide-reaching research literature review, and engagement with subject matter experts, and other jurisdictions, including Finland, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and Arizona in the USA.

The impact and benefits of automated and zero emissions vehicles was considered in relation to ten focus issues:

  • Transport modelling
  • Population and land use
  • Energy network
  • ICT infrastructure
  • Environment and population health
  • Socioeconomic impacts
  • Financial analysis
  • International market analysis
  • Transport engineering
  • Urban design

Vehicles under consideration for this report were limited to cars, trucks, buses, and other such vehicles that make use of roads, although public transport use certainly is factored into the report’s thinking. Footpath vehicles, drones, trams, etc. are outside the scope of this report. Automated refers to levels 4 and 5 as defined by SAE International.

The seven scenarios

The research, along with projections of population growth, road and public transport use, land use, power consumption and more then informed seven scenarios of how things might look in 2046. Those seven scenarios are:

Electric Avenue: this scenario tests what would happen if all vehicles, from passenger vehicles to buses and freight, were powered by electricity in 2046, but none were highly automated.

Private Drive: the focus of this scenario is a 2046 future in which all vehicles are driverless battery electric vehicles that are privately owned.

Fleet Street: considers a major commercial shift towards driverless electric shared vehicles operated through on-demand services in 2046. In this scenario, no one in Victoria owns their own car. Instead, mobility services are provided by companies for a fee, similar to those provided by Uber or Taxify today.

Hydrogen Highway: shifts the focus from battery electric to hydrogen power, to help identify specific infrastructure and land use requirements and opportunities related to the use of a Victorian fleet of entirely automated hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2046.

Slow Lane: portrays a slow and prolonged uptake where on-demand driverless battery electric vehicles share the road with privately owned non-driverless petrol/diesel vehicles in 2046. In this scenario, 50% of trips are taken in Fleet Street-style vehicles, while the other 50% of trips are taken in the traditional vehicles that are on the road today.

High Speed: describes a rapid transport revolution where the adoption of on-demand driverless battery electric vehicles identified in the Fleet Street scenario happens over a significantly shorter timeline, with full take-up of these vehicles in 2031.

Dead End: the 2046 base case. It describes a future where these new technologies for automating and powering road vehicles are never realised in a significant way.

Download the report

The report forms the overview of Infrastructure Victoria’s final advice on automated vehicles to the Victorian Government, to be delivered in October 2018. Ahead of that delivery Infrastructure Victoria is still accepting community and stakeholder submissions, until 31 August 2018. Interested parties can deliver submissions up to this date via Infrastructure Victoria’s Automated and zero emission vehicle infrastructure advice page. All of this will form part of findings and recommendations for Victoria’s 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy, due in 2019.

Click to download a copy of Infrastructure Victoria’s Evidence Base Report: Advice on Automated and Zero Emissions Vehicles Infrastructure.

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