Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are set to provide the foundation for a “paradigm shift” in mobility and transport, according to a strategic white paper from engineering consultancy Ricardo.
The paper says that vehicle automation is developing rapidly and the benefits — from improved safety and user convenience to reduced urban congestion and better asset utilisation — will be realised much faster than many industry observers have predicted.
The authors make the case that many of the key technical challenges perceived as impeding CAV roll-out have already been overcome, particularly as more people switch to electric vehicles.
CAVs won’t just automate driving tasks within the established model of transportation.
An early application of vehicle connectivity and automation will be seen in truck platooning.
And Ricardo suggests CAVs will help lead to a future in which ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) becomes the dominant commercial model for personal road transportation.
“CAVs will provide low-cost, shared mobility services, give people back their commute time, lead to the development of novel and impactful business models and potentially improve local air quality,” the authors explain.
The technology will enable both on-demand and scheduled services, with CAVs integrated with public transit and last-mile solutions. We could see a “significant shift” from personal ownership of vehicles and towards mobility service offerings from 2025 onwards, the paper predicts.
Because of this, the developments in CAV automotive technology are likely to have strong synergies with web-based apps offering multi-modal integrated travel solutions and per-usage or service level based billing to individual user accounts.
“For those willing to embrace CAV technology, the future offers significant opportunities to redefine the future models of transportation — from personal mobility to heavy goods — in a more efficient, safer and sustainable manner than those of today,” commented Ricardo chief operating officer Mark Garrett.