The Transportation Future: Trends, Transportation, and Travel
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The Transportation Future: Trends, Transportation, and Travel

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  • English

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    • Abstract:
      Transportation is undergoing a period of significant change in the United States, evident by changes in transportation demand. Many factors influence transportation demand and in different ways. Some trends increase demand; some decrease demand; and others shift demand across modes, time of day, and geographies. Technological advances, coupled with demographic and economic trends, have made it incredibly difficult to predict the transportation future. Furthermore, new industries are evolving, while old ones are becoming obsolete. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event, and future impacts on transportation and travel (if any) are unclear. While technology increasingly allows people to work remotely, many workers are still geographically tied to their workplaces. eCommerce and on-demand shipping are decentralizing warehouses and increasing last-mile deliveries through various methods (e.g., drones, autonomous robots, and couriers). Automation, artificial intelligence, and connectivity are changing the way the transportation system is used, operated, and managed. The only certainty going forward is that there will be change. While there is so much more to say about other surface modes, such as transit, this report focuses primarily on trends in transportation and travel in relation to demand for travel on our Nation’s roadways.
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