Autonomous is an ally

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The Olli from Local Motors has been undergoing trials in several American cities

Following UITP’s autonomous vehicle report, James Day speaks to Rafael Cuesta of TfGM – who was involved in its production – to see how the UK could change mobility dramatically

On January 16, UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) – a global organisation which focusses on sustainable urban mobility – released a report entitled ‘Autonomous Vehicles: Potential Game Changer for Urban Mobility.’

The report called for public transport authorities to ensure that the take up of autonomous vehicles was predominantly in a mobility role, supporting existing public transport services instead of replacing them. It warned that without strong leadership on the subject, private individuals could purchase the bulk of the new vehicles, leading to worsening congestion as more convenient personal cars flooded the road network.

Rafael Cuesta, Head of Innovation for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), was one of the people involved in producing the report. He has held his current role for two years, after beginning his career in Colombia, with his role including environmental protection in a development and regeneration setting. He joined Peterborough City Council in 1989, and has since held transport operational and policy roles at Birmingham City Council and Centro (now Transport for the West Midlands), before joining TfGM.

I spoke to him to find out more about how UITP envisages an autonomous vehicle-supported transport network would be implemented in the UK – a mobility network which would predominantly utilise vehicles with a capacity of 6-12[…]

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