The Transportation Futures project [Open Thread]

I am pleased to announce we were awarded funding from MnDOT and the Local Road Research Board (contract pending) for The Transportation Futures Project: Planning for Technology Change:

Objective: Examine a series of technologies in-depth: autonomous vehicles; mobile telecommunications; advanced information and communications technologies; vehicles as a service; quantified self; electrification; dynamic pricing and new logistics.
Principal Investigator: David Levinson, University of Minnesota

Project Summary:
The surface transportation sector is facing a large number of technological shifts that could change how people travel. This research will explore these technologies, ascertain their potential market, consider their interactions, understand what might happen to travel demands and address how planning and forecasting should respond.

This project will develop a series of high-level policy briefs based on the analysis of each technology, its direction and its implications for Minnesota. This extends and complements the MnDOT 50-year vision expressed in Minnesota GO. It also extends the work of the NCHRP 750 project, Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, in a number of directions, and tailors recommendations to Minnesota.

As suggested, there are lots of technologies we are going to look at, from new energy sources, through autonomous vehicles, to new logistics.

Ideas however are more than welcome, as a few words cannot hope to fully capture the various directions these technologies may take, and the way policy and plans should respond.

Put your scenarios, ideas, and topics in the comments, I hope we can generate some interesting perspectives. We aim to finish this project in 2015, so it’s on a fast (for research and government) timetable.