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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 11 - Conclusion." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25580.
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Page 53
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 11 - Conclusion." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25580.
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Page 54

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I-53 Public agencies face significant challenges as they continue to perform their governmental functions in the face of the private sector’s prodigious output of new technologies. Agencies need to rethink how they develop policies and plans. They need to obtain new expertise. 11.1 Potential Impacts on Personal Travel and Land Use This review of the characteristics of new transportation-related technologies and their appli- cations in the transportation sector has found a wide variety of technologies, applications, and potential land use and transportation impacts. Some technologies may reduce some forms of travel. Others may increase travel. The great uncertainty is the price point at which the new technologies and services can be offered in the marketplace on a sustained basis. If the new offerings are more expensive or inconvenient than currently available options, they are unlikely to see wide-scale adoption. If the new options are offered at competitive prices or are more convenient than currently avail- able options, they will see widespread adoption and will significantly affect travel and land use. Given these uncertainties, the long-term impacts of transformational technologies cannot be known with any degree of probability (much less, certainty). For planning purposes, multiple 20-year scenarios can be generated, but not enough is known at this time to assign a probability to each scenario. 11.2 Policy and Planning Challenges This review has also identified numerous policy and planning challenges specific to each tech- nology. Generally, transformational technologies challenge how public agencies go about their rulemaking, policy making, and planning processes. New technologies may show up on a city’s sidewalks or the roadside of a state highway with little warning or notice. Technology deployers may rush their products out onto the streets and highways without a permit or license. In part, this occurs because current laws are often written to be technology-specific and are therefore mute on a new technology. Agencies find themselves updating old laws and passing new ones to deal with technologies that were not dreamed of 5 years earlier. The TRB has identified transformational technologies as a key issue for 2019, framing the following questions (Transportation Research Board 2018): 1. How can and how should public policy steer the development of new transportation services, connected vehicles, and fully autonomous vehicles? C H A P T E R 1 1 Conclusion

I-54 Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation 2. What additional federal, state, and local policies are needed? 3. What is the appropriate balance of state and federal safety regulatory oversight? 4. How can we ensure the consistent and safe performance of AI? 5. How will travelers respond to new technologies and services? New technologies and applications also are likely to affect agencies’ traditional funding streams. As discussed by Bornstein et al. (2018), significant future funding challenges may arise for agencies that depend on current transportation-related funding streams like the fuel tax and vehicle licensing fees. Between 2016 and 2020, the authors estimate that tolling revenues may increase by 20 percent, but also that the following revenues and fees may decline (Bornstein et al. 2018): • Fuel tax revenues, by 30 percent; • Vehicle registration and license fees, by 30 percent; • Parking revenues, by 65 percent; and • Traffic enforcement fines, 65 percent. Bornstein et al. (2018) also identify a few potential new revenue streams that public agencies might consider: • Dynamic tolling based on usage, • Tiered licensing fees for MaaS providers, • Monetizing the mobility data streams that agencies control, and • Entering into PPPs. 11.3 Adapting the Planning Process An agency’s first step in adapting the planning process is to determine its goals and vision for planning and regulating transformational technologies that affect land use and transportation. With its vision in place, the agency can then conduct a self-assessment of its ability to achieve its vision and goals. Specifically, the agency will want and need to: • Bring new data sources into its planning processes; • Ensure its staff has access to expertise (either in-house or through external sources) about the new technologies; • Update its plans and the language used in its regulations to make them “technology agnostic” so that they can be applied more quickly and flexibly as new technologies and applications arise; and • Promote a nimble response to new technologies as they hit the streets.

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Examples of transformational technologies—many are discussed in technical and popular media—include wireless telecommunications, shared vehicles, connected vehicles, fully autonomous vehicles, alternative-fuel vehicles, smart cities and communities, big data analytics, internet-of-things, as well as UAVs or drones, 3-D printing, and more.

Public agencies face significant challenges continuing to perform their governmental functions in the face of the private sector’s prodigious output of these new technologies. Agencies need to rethink how they develop their policies and plans—and they need to obtain new expertise.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 924: Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation reviews the characteristics of new transportation-related technologies and their applications in the transportation sector and explores a wide variety of potential impacts on areas such as travel and land use and planning projects.

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