AboutQualified policies need to steer technological developments to support sustainability and efficiency goals, rather than allowing ‘business as usual’ and the market to ‘regulate itself.
Therefore, it is necessary to better involve and build the knowledge base of public authorities – enabling them to raise their voices in the development of new framework settings for this technology. ART-Forum will create a debating ground for local/regional authorities in the NSR, address risks and opportunities and help guide policy development with regard to the impact that automated transport could have on the entire road transport system and life in cities and regions in the NSR
Overall Project Objectives
Developments in automated road transport have the potential to help create more efficient cities and regions: where fewer, more environmentally-friendly vehicles move just as many people and goods because they use available capacities, space and energy more efficiently. This is a vision of cities with fewer vehicles cluttering the roads, mobile citizens of all ages and ability in rural and urban areas and efficient freight transport. However, there is also a risk of unrealistic expectations associated with such technological developments, increased traffic volume, cyber-security threats and acceptance problems among the public.
The overall objective of ART-Forum is
- Raise awareness among public stakeholders
- Develop policy recommendations that enable local and regional authorities to take advantage of the opportunities of automated road transport
- Support sustainable transport and territorial development goals as well as improve quality of life in communities
- Capacity building of policy makers and stakeholders on the impacts of ART
There is a significant need to raise awareness and build knowledge among policy makers and public stakeholders about the potential impact of ART on the transport system and spatial relationships, among other things, and the opportunity to set the course for future development and integration into sustainability strategies.
- Capacity building of planners on the impacts of ART
Similar to the first objective, planners need to be engaged and made aware of the changing parameters for municipal and regional planning that ART poses as well as how these can be used on a practical level to achieve urban and regional goals of equity, efficiency and sustainability.
- Facilitate exchange between technological developers and policy makers
The gap between technological developments in the area of ART and the needs of cities and regions needs to be bridged: 1) so that local stakeholders understand the potential and risks of impacts of these technologies and 2) so that developers can understand the needs of the communities in which their technologies will be deployed.
The ART-Forum project will be a lighthouse project to show the involvement of the North Sea Region in the intensely discussed themes of digitalisation and new mobility paradigms. To appropriately address the tasks, the Forum will have two levels:
- At the working level, is the transnational "Core Think Tank", which involves local and regional authorities, transport providers, research institutions and influential NGOs. There will be a link to networks like UITP (international association of public transport operators), Eurocities (network of cities) and the OECD International Transport Forum and international research. Results of the Core Think Tank will be scenarios dealing with different paths of the development and integration of the different states of ART. Special attention will be paid to the link to and impacts on spatial planning and transport strategies.
- In a wider informal "Reflection Group", the insights and results of the Core Think Tank will be presented and discussed. Workshops, presentations and the development of policy recommendations will be elements of transnational capacity building beyond the members of the project. The key focus is on developing strategies and guidance for local and regional authorities in the NSR. There is a special role of the North Sea Commission Transport Group; whenever required, ART-Forum will feed in insights to be discussed and reflected. At the same time it will be part of capacity building and dissemination among political decision makers on how to be proactive on ART policies that support sustainable mobility and spatial development goals
The technological development towards automated transport is fast. It is likely that automated road transport (ART) will change spatial development and the transport system in the North Sea Region and beyond in a fundamental way. Currently, much enabling of technological developments and test applications of automated vehicles can be observed but little guidance is being provided for public authorities on how to deal with these new technologies, particularly in their sustainable mobility plans, street design and regional development plans. In addition, not every aspect of the technology development can accepted as positive. Therefore, it is necessary to better involve and build the knowledge base of public authorities – enabling them to raise their voices in the development of new framework settings for this technology. ART-Forum will create a debating ground for local/regional authorities in the NSR, address risks and opportunities and help guide policy development with regard to the impact that automated transport could have on the entire road transport system and life in cities and regions in the NSR. A transnational approach is required as the onset of ART will pose a similar challenge for cities and regions across Europe and a joint public dialog and development of sound policy frameworks can help spread lessons learned and prepare other communities for this game changing technological development more rapidly than any one organisation could accomplish alone.