Erin Santini Bell
University of New Hampshire
Safe, efficient, resilient, and sustainable mobility is essential to the quality of life of our vibrant society. Transportation - the movement of people, goods and services – relies in turn on the infrastructure, both physical and digital, that underpins transportation networks and modes.
New transportation networks and modes will embrace efficient energy usage, produce low or no emissions, utilize alternative materials and novel construction and manufacturing processes, enhance the efficiency of freight and logistics, and utilize appropriate levels of automation and connectivity. We must emphasize safety, affordability, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in mobility to drive the positive impacts on social and economic conditions that will improve all communities.
Future transportation networks will optimize transportation by land, sea, air, and the next generation of technologies that supports these networks are advancing at a rapid pace.
The shift to electrified transportation is well underway, and advancements in autonomous vehicle operation across all modes of transportation are moving forward at full throttle. Infrastructure and mobile assets are becoming increasingly connected to enable improvements in efficiency and safety, and the evolution of the human-computer interface is propelling the transportation system at pace. Such technological advancements coupled with multimodal transportation strategies, transportation demand management, and land use/development planning will play a critical role in the future of sustainable transportation networks.
Potential subthemes explored where engineering can lead: