The digital and information era has brought about a revolution in transportation services. Wireless networks are ubiquitous, and there is an ever-growing array of mobile applications used to enhance mobility options. Big Data and societal and demographic changes have created an environment in which information systems, shared vehicles, and on-demand services are playing an ever-growing role in transportation. With these huge technological changes, there is the opportunity for public policy to play a forward-thinking role.
Eno’s Digital Cities program is exploring how technology is changing transportation systems, and how public policy can play a forward-thinking role in encouraging innovative mobility while simultaneously ensuring public safety and public benefit. These technological innovations are revolutionizing the concept of mobility and accessibility for the better. But in order for that to be possible, policy makers must ensure that their policy decisions are encouraging, rather than inhibiting, innovation.
Eno is at the forefront of this multifaceted transportation revolution. To develop specific recommendations for transportation policy, Eno is leading research, conducting data analysis, organizing workshops, convening public events, and writing policy papers that cover the following aspects of technology and transportation:
- Automated & connected vehicles
- Transportation network companies and taxis
- Technology enabled transit
- Technology and traveler information
- The transportation sharing economy
- Technology and freight movement
To date the project has focused on achieving these policy goals through a variety of different methods:
Convergence and Capital Convergence. In the last year, the Digital Cities program has convened two conferences around the intersection of technology and transportation. The first conference, Convergence, took place in March of 2016 and was one the first examples of conferences looking at how public policy can help shape mobility with the new wave of digital information. Capital Convergence, which took place in January 2017, examined specific policy examples from metropolitan Washington-region and across the country to highlight the impacts technology is having on transportation.
State and local AV policies and beyond. State governments have a very specific and important role to play in the automated vehicle space. The Digital Cities program is working closely with state and local jurisdictions to examine how legislatures and departments of transportation can focus their energies on a constructive transition to automated and semi-automated vehicles. The goal of the research is to identify specific best practices that will serve as a roadmap for state and local policymakers to develop approaches that safely and effectively harness the benefits of automated vehicles.
Innovation Officers Network (ION). During the initial development of the Digital Cities research programming, Eno staff identified a unique opportunity. As transit agencies across the country are engaging in new and innovative approaches to delivering improved services, they often faced numerous obstacles and challenges. Additionally, when other transit agencies were interested in learning more about these projects, they were forced to contact them directly to learn more. To bridge the communication gap and help identify thoughtful solutions, Eno established a sustained network, called the Innovation Officers’ Network. ION gathers a select number of individuals at local, regional, and state level agencies to regularly meet and exchange ideas, lessons, and insights.
Within these subject areas and projects streams, the Digital Cities program explores aspects of public policy related regulatory frameworks, safety, investment programs, and the environmental effects of future mobility. The ultimate goal of Digital Cities will be for Eno to create and promote innovative and pragmatic recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers using the insights of current public and private sector experts.
To get involved with this exciting, groundbreaking research, please contact Stan Turner, Senior Policy Analyst at sturner[at]enotrans.org
- Preparing a Nation for Autonomous Vehicles: Opportunities, Barriers and Policy Recommendations
- Emerging Technology Trends in Transportation
In the News:
- Smart questions from Eno’s ‘future of transportation’ conference
- Convergence Examines How Technology is Transforming Freight Transportation
- Eno’s “Convergence” Explores Intersection of Technology and Transportation
- Convergence: How Can Better Data Improve Transportation?
- Convergence: Public Policy and Autonomous Vehicles
- Convergence: What Role Do Cities Play in a Changing Mobility Landscape?
- Convergence: Where Do We Go From Here?
- Eno Transportation Weekly “Digital Cities” articles
Eno’s Digital Cities Project is generously supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation