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Comment: Be wary of fads – but embrace change

First publishedin ITS International
March April 2018
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Along with death and taxes, there is one other certainty in modern life: change. In this issue of ITS International, Jarrett Walker (an urban transit expert who has unaccountably ruffled the feathers of Tesla’s Elon Musk) sensibly implies that we should be wary of fads, but there are some developments which require our full attention. Among these are connected and autonomous vehicles: try as we might to avoid them as dinner party topics of conversation, the world outside of ITS is waking up to the possibilities – and the potential problems. Steven Norris, president of ITS UK, talked about the challenges of integrating C/AV into the existing fleet. Actually, he didn’t use the word ‘challenges’ – he called it a ‘legislative nightmare’. As a highly experienced operator – and having been a UK government transport minister - he knows whereof he speaks. His keynote speech at the MaaS Market conference in London set the tone for some passionate discussion about the issues which face us all  – and there will be a chance for more of the same during the conference’s US debut in Atlanta in May. The need to work together was a key theme – and speaking of co-operation, I would like to enlist your help. ITS professionals all over the world are involved in projects using a mixture of clever technology and brilliant ideas to create new solutions for problems of advanced traffic management and urban mobility. We want to hear about them, so please contact me with your thoughts and ideas – and particularly your case studies. Meanwhile, follow us on Twitter @ITS_Int_News to help separate the fads from the important stuff.

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