• The Year in Infrastructure Conference, October 10-12, 2017

    October 10-12, 2017 | Sands Expo and Convention Centre | Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

    #YII2017 | Facebook | instagram

A New Era for Autonomous Vehicles

By Dustin Parkman, Vice President, Civil and Reality Modeling

Autonomous VehicleAutomakers are promising that cars won’t need a human driver within the next four years. Too bold? Not really.

The concept of driverless vehicles is now more than just a tech dream. We are entering an era in which private industry, government, and academia are all starting to collaborate to fully introduce autonomous vehicles into our daily lives.

We’ve been hearing about self-driving cars for years now.

They’ve been evolving at a breakneck speed since Tesla first released their semi-autonomous “Auto-Pilot” feature in 2015. Since then, the development of self-driving cars has turned into a modern day “space race.”

It seems like every large tech company under the sun is racing to be the first to fully manufacture autonomous vehicles. In fact, there are currently 36 different companies in the U.S. that have permits to test autonomous vehicles on public roads. But as close as they are to being distributed, autonomous vehicles are only one small piece of the puzzle.

Autonomous Vehicle We haven’t heard much about how our world’s roads and bridges are going to support these self-driving cars. Maybe that’s because governments have been slow to take any of these technological advancements seriously. But that may all be changing soon.

The United States House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted in July 2017 to advance a bill that would speed up the development of self-driving cars and establish a federal framework for their regulation. In addition, the Senate announced that they are aiming to agree on a bill that will be prioritizing “safety, fixing outdated rules, and clarifying the role of federal and state governments."

While federal regulations are important in this race, what’s even more important is how our pre-existing infrastructure is going to change. Owner-operators of transportation systems are soon going to have to think about how their construction projects can support autonomous vehicles.

California’s Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Dougherty is already preparing the state for these changes. Autonomous vehicles will need to be supported by some changes in the existing conditions of roads and bridges. According to Dougherty, California is already working to thicken lane lines from 4 inches to 6 inches, so that autonomous vehicle systems can have a clearer delineation of their surroundings.

Autonomous VehicleThe systems of autonomous vehicles depend on the conditions of infrastructure, signage, and lane definition – and it is up to us [engineers, government representatives, owner-operators, etc.] to collaborate to take this initiative to the next level.

The Year in Infrastructure Conference in Singapore, Oct. 10-12, 2017, will be looking at how technology enables the design, delivery, and operation of “smart” roads and bridges, emphasizing how it will "disrupt the industry."

We have an incredible lineup of professionals from around the world to talk about how autonomous vehicles and related technologies will be impacting our industries:

Autonomous Vehicles and Impact on Design, Construction, and Operations
Peter Duncan, Chairman, Australia Road Research Board (ARRB)
Sharad V. Oberoi, PhD, Director of IT and Software Engineering, The Sanborn Map Company
William (Bill) Vavrik, PhD, Vice President & Principal Engineer, Applied Research Associates, Inc.
Jason Hallet, Vice President of Global Product Management, Topcon Positioning Group
Dustin Parkman, Vice President of Civil, Modeling & Visualization, Bentley Systems Inc.
Mike Woof, Editor, World Highways

Road and Roadside Feature Extraction Using Combined Mobile and Aerial LiDAR Date for Transportation Operation
John P. Copple, President & CEO, The Sanborn Map Company
Sharad V. Oberoi, PhD, Director of IT and Software Engineering, The Sanborn Map Company

Be Inspired Finalist Presentation: BIM Advancements in Reality Modeling -  Sanborn3D HD Maps for Autonomous Driving: Santa Clara
The Sanborn Map Company, Inc.

Register to join us at The Year in Infrastructure Conference: