Emerging Technologies

Technology has shaped our lives in ways we could never have anticipated, allowing us to be more connected and productive, and bringing with it the potential to change the way we live, work, and play. The growing use of smart phones, GPS, and real-time information has made us more interconnected than ever.

While we can’t know exactly how new technologies may change our world in the future, we can already see some technologies emerging on the horizon. Some of them have the potential to help us get more out of our existing infrastructure, improve safety, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Here are a few examples of emerging technologies that we may benefit from:

  • Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: Vehicles partially or fully automated to navigate with less human input, improving roadway performance and safety
  • Variable Speed Limits on Freeway Network: Speed limits vary in real time to respond to congestion levels and road conditions to maintain smooth and consistent traffic flow
  • Enhanced Virtual Office/TeleworkEver increasing technologies allowing people more freedom to work remotely, eliminating commutes
  • Real-Time Traveler Information via Personal Devices: Provide real-time traveler and parking information, available on-the-fly, to influence how people choose to get around, what route they take, and when they travel
  • Solar Freeways and Parking Lots:  Road surfaces and parking lots equipped to generate solar power

San Diego Forward: The 2019-2050 Regional Plan will explore emerging technologies that could be implemented in our region to help us get the most out of our infrastructure investments, improve our quality of life, and reduce our impact on the environment.

In January 2018, the Emerging Technologies White Paper was updated to reflect research and current known transportation-related trends. The objective of this white paper is to present technological and societal trends that have the potential to radically change how the region’s transportation system is used in the future, and to outline potential policy considerations that will enable the region to harness the benefits and reduce the negative aspects of these trends. The white paper will help inform the transportation network development process, which defines our region’s future transportation network and program investments.