We are living in a connected world, where our fridges remind us to buy milk, our phones tell us when to go to bed and our cars can read speed-limit signs and slow down or speed up – all on their own.

This kind of connected technology is set to dramatically change how we travel in the future. As more and more connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) appear on our roads, transport operators will have more and more opportunities to use this technology to everyone’s advantage.

The CAV advantage

This technology is especially valuable given how fast our cities are growing. City populations are increasing at a cracking pace and many of the world’s cities are struggling to keep up. Congested roads and crowded public transport are a common reality – while city populations keep on growing every year.

Connected transport technology has real potential to help ease the burden – on road networks – improving traffic flow, safety and reducing delays on our roads.

Getting ready for a CAV-driven future

We don’t know when the vast majority of cars (and trucks) on our roads will be CAVs – this timeline is still hotly debated. But we do know CAVs are coming – and we also know we need to be ready.

As a first step to preparing our roads for a CAV-driven future, Transurban is running a series of trials on motorways and to investigate how they respond to road infrastructure (such as signs, lines, signals and ramps). We’re also testing how an automated truck interfaces with our road technology—and how our roads ‘talk’ to the truck.

And we’ve been talking to people about CAVs and getting a sense of community attitudes towards the arrival and use of CAVs. It’s been an interesting experience so far – take a look at what we’ve been learning below.