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Roads for the Future – Dedicated Driverless Spaces

City Science’s proposed concept – Dedicated Driverless Spaces – offers a flexible certification and licensing structure for roads to enable CAVs to operate to maximise benefits and minimise risks. In particular City Science looked at a range of case studies as to how these systems could be applied in Exeter.

In total the project considered 9 different ‘Typologies’ of Dedicated Driverless Spaces and assessed the feasibility and benefits of each.


Roads of the Future Typologies


In particular City Science developed a range of case studies to explore how these systems could be applied in Greater Exeter. One key areas of impact would be through a first- and last- mile CAV network which would encourage a shift of current car-based demand to public transport. To evidence the potential benefits, they developed a model (the STARR model) in collaboration with the Environmental & Big Data Impact Lab which shows that considerable private car trips could be served by such a system. Being electric, this system would also enable significant air quality improvements.


Roads of the Future Visualisation


Through the report City Science also show how CAV shuttles could increase land-values at business parks and new developments, making available new finance to re-invest in energy efficiency measures or schemes to enhance active travel. The project also highlights the potential benefits of a passenger last mile solution from Exeter St David’s station, a passenger first mile solution from Exmouth and an Autonomous BRT on Topsham Road.

Key Outputs

The output of the project was a detailed and comprehensive evidence base, openly available here. The report provides an up-to-date snapshot of the status of this rapidly advancing technology and a range of ideas to consider when thinking about CAVs within local plan making. City Science also hope the project has put Exeter on the map as a potential location to take forward new technology trials and are working with partners to identify next steps and possible funding routes to develop these concepts further.


Project Lead and Partners Involved

The project team brought together expertise from City Science, The Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab, and Phil Jones Associates.