Three Revolutions Turning the Transportation World Upside-Down
By Ryan McCauley
Less than six months ago, 150 representatives from various organizations — including the California Governor’s Office; Austin, Texas; several University of California campuses; Google X; Uber and Lyft, among many others — gathered in Sacramento, Calif., to discuss the three revolutions taking place in transportation: sharing, electrification and automation.
The meeting, hosted by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) through its 3 Revolutions Policy Initiative, explored the key policies and strategies surrounding potential synergies among electrification, automation and vehicle sharing, and how best to guide those policies to serve the public interest.
Following the conference, the group conducted an informal survey that garnered 40 responses from policymakers, researchers and representatives from interest groups — most of whom agreed that fully driverless vehicles will make up more than 20 percent of cars on the road in less than 25 years. Perhaps most telling was the fact that the traditional auto manufacturers are not expected to spearhead this change; most agree it will be tech and transportation networking companies like Google, Uber andTesla.
“The three revolutions … have the potential to stimulate sweeping changes in passenger travel, overcome the resistance of incumbent industries, and provide a faster, scalable and more profitable path toward societal goals,” said UC Davis ITS Director Daniel Sperling in a framing document. “Unmanaged, some of these same innovations could exacerbate environmental quality, equity, and livability. ”
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