Emerging Transportation Technology in Texas
Study Finds Technology is Future of Transportation in Texas
For Immediate Release
December 18, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – A report encouraging investment in new transportation technologies in Texas – like self-driving cars – has been released by the Center for Transportation Research (CTR) at The University of Texas at Austin.
Commissioned by the Texas legislature early in 2013, the Texas Department of Transportation tapped CTR to examine innovative transportation technologies to help relieve congestion, increase safety, save money, and enhance the state’s economic efficiency.
Last year, 3,399 people died on Texas roads, costing the state over $26 billion. In 2009, Texans used over 15.6 billion gallons of fuel. The report concludes that through the adoption of emerging technologies, crash frequency and severity can be significantly reduced, and less fuel would be wasted by motorists stuck in traffic.
Guided by an external advisory panel of experts from public and private sectors, the study emphasizes the vital role of public-private partnerships in promoting Texas as a leader in the next phase of transportation innovation.
Researchers focused on several key areas of emerging transportation technology.
- Autonomous vehicles, which are examined for increased safety they could provide, as well as legal and logistical hurdles.
- Electric vehicles and issues related to the charging infrastructure are reviewed.
- Connected vehicles that communicate with each other and the network are studied, as well as cloud computing and crowdsourcing technologies.
“This report is designed to provide a framework for public and private agencies to come together and address transportation challenges here in Texas. We’ve got some tremendously challenging issues, and some of these new innovative technologies have the potential to increase safety, be more efficient with our funding, and increase the quality of life for Texans,” said UT Austin engineering professor Mike Walton, who supervised the report.
“It’s extremely important that we continue to explore new transportation technologies, and understand how they can improve the performance of our infrastructure. Some of these technologies could also make our roads much safer and help save lives – like self-driving cars – and this report provides a starting point for that conversation,” Walton said.
The next phase will include projects and demonstrations to showcase the technology.
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