Tuesday 24th November 2020

How will public transport change after the COVID-19 lockdown?

Published on July 21st, 2020

With lockdown restrictions easing on a weekly basis, public transportation services have had to rapidly adapt to the new age of transport in a COVID-19 landscape. The UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is using this opportunity to reassess the impact connected and autonomous vehicle technology could have on our public transport system.

If the lockdown has taught us anything it’s that mobility is essential, not only to those who use public transport on a daily basis, but especially those who are solely dependent on affordable and accessible public transportation. One likely answer to this is the development of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. Whilst we know AV technology is not at a point to drive with true autonomy, purpose-built automated mobility solutions, like shared pods, could revolutionise the public transportation system in the near future.

Working with its real-world urban testbed, Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL), TRL has been looking to streamline the technology’s approval method, getting autonomous testing on the roads faster with a recognised standard by authoring the BSI PAS 1881 specification. The Smart Mobility Living Lab, in collaboration with TRL, is said to offer a “truly ground-breaking opportunity for the industry to create, demonstrate and deliver mobility solutions that enables further accessibility and affordability to public transportation for our society”.

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