Public transport technology for the future

Authored by: Roberto Palacin

The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport

Print publication date:  May  2021
Online publication date:  May  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367418724
eBook ISBN: 9780367816698
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the role of technology in creating functioning public transport systems in the 21st century. Specifically, the focus is urban applications, describing and discussing developments being tested and deployed in cities across the globe, as well as those that are currently at the research phase but have the potential to become the norm in the future. Digitalisation is at the core of this technological revolution, acting as the essential enabler for concepts such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), automation of vehicles and infrastructure (e.g. smart roads) and enhanced traffic management. Other fundamental key technologies discussed are those aimed at the decarbonisation of public transport, in particular energy storage systems, for example, in vehicle and wayside. Examples are provided to illustrate the potential of technology for the future of public transport. The chapter concludes by identifying promising areas of future research.

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