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Planning for Autonomous Vehicles

The opportunities and challenges of autonomous vehicles in passenger and freight traffic have become a major issue in the discussions about future transport systems.

However, many questions remain regarding what impact autonomous developments in rail, road and waterborne transport will have on ports.

Questions range from how should ports prepare for the arrival of autonomous vehicles – including infrastructure requirements – and how they can develop suitable environments.

A wide number of ports are already preparing themselves for autonomous vehicles, in particular the large and technologically advanced ones.

This is partly driven by the need to remain competitive if autonomous vehicles join the markets. As infrastructure investments are made to last 30-50 years, future investments should be based on future technology developments.

Claudia Bosse, Senior Scientist and Ralf Fiedler, Group Leader, Ports and Transport Markets at Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML)

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