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Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Overview." 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 57
Page 58
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Overview." 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 58

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II-3 This Desk Reference on Transformational Technologies is designed to be a look-up refer- ence document on the impacts of individual transformational technologies on land use and transportation. This part of the report is targeted to technical people. It provides an accessible compilation of the characteristics of new technologies, their deployment status, their potential impacts on travel, and their implications for policy and planning. 1.1 Scope of Technologies Covered For the purposes of this project, transformational technologies are defined as any of a broad range of evolving applications of science, engineering, and societal organization with the poten- tial to transform how people and institutions use land and transportation systems. Examples include wireless telecommunications, shared vehicles, connected vehicles (CVs), automated/ autonomous vehicles (AVs), alternative fuel vehicles, smart cities and communities, Big Data analytics, the internet-of-things (IoT), unmanned aircraft vehicles, 3-D printing, and more. Individually and together, these transformational technologies already are influencing how businesses and individuals use public rights-of-way, curb space, and ancillary transportation facilities like parking and intermodal transfer facilities. Time and budget constraints required that this project focus on the highway/road/street vehicle- and system-related technologies of most interest to state departments of transportation (DOTs) that will also transform the movement of people and goods and their relevant impacts on the supporting transportation/land use infrastructure (see Exhibit II-1). 1.2 Technologies and Their Application New technologies are applied in the transportation field to help travelers, shippers, and carriers more cost-effectively accomplish their mobility goals. Each application may employ a variety of technologies. Transportation applications can be grouped according to the area of their focus: (1) improving personal mobility, (2) improving land use efficiency, (3) improving the delivery of government services, and (4) the delivery of goods (logistics) (see Exhibit II-2). The distinction between technologies and applications is necessarily indefinite. Generally: • Technologies involve more hardware than software. Often the software associated with the technology provides basic functionality for the hardware. • Applications involve more software than hardware. An application builds on the basic func- tionality of various technologies, combining them together to provide a more sophisticated degree of functionality. C H A P T E R 1 Overview

II-4 Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation Exhibit II-2. New technologies lead to new applications. Exhibit II-1. The technological focus of NCHRP Project 08-117.

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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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