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Planning for the introduction of AVs

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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to completely transform the modern automotive industry. They could make roads safer by reducing the number of accidents and also would have the power to reduce congestion by improving efficiency and travelling time. They could improve development by making outlying areas around big cities more accessible, potentially reducing overcrowding and the high property prices in these areas.

With all of these potential benefits on offer, it is no wonder that automotive and technology companies are investing huge amounts into developing the technology. Success could bring incredible rewards, so the race is certainly on to produce AVs that will work safely and effectively on roads. However, it is also important to consider the roads in our country and how they will cope with these new vehicles.

In 1898 New York hosted the world’s first international urban planning conference. At the time the car revolution was on the horizon, but the biggest talking point at the event was horses and, more specifically, what to do with the manure. That was a big issue at the time and it was difficult to predict that within just 30 years the number of cars on the road in America would leap from 800 to 19 million. It meant that time was spent considering present issues rather than looking ahead for the future.

The jump from horses to cars created many issues, taking jobs from old industries and creating brand new ones in their place. New laws, infrastructure and regulations all needed to be created to deal with the new vehicles. If these issues had been discussed earlier rather than focusing solely on present problems the switchover would have been much swifter and easier.

The same situation appears to be arising now in regards to autonomous vehicles. Naturally, existing transport systems and infrastructure need to be maintained, but planners also need to start looking ahead to what will happen with AVs, particularly with semi-autonomous vehicles already on the road. It is also wise to start thinking about what automotive recruitment will look like in the near-distant future, and as innovative recruitment specialists, we will always make sure to stay up to date with the latest developments.