Webinar: Preparing for Automated Vehicles in Rural America

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Event Overview

Fully automated vehicles hold the potential to significantly improve traffic safety, mobility and accessibility. The technology could also significantly increase vehicle travel and associated environmental impacts, the magnitude of which will depend in part on the extent to which automated vehicles are available for individual ownership vs. carsharing or ridesharing. For this reason, shared mobility is commonly cited as an important strategy for mitigating growth in vehicle travel in urban contexts. 

But changes in travel behavior brought about by automation will likely differ in rural areas, which are characterized by long travel distances and dispersed populations. Different policies may be needed to realize the mobility and safety benefits of vehicle automation in rural areas. This webinar will outline the benefits and challenges of automated vehicle deployment in rural areas relative to urban areas.

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Image of Dr. Lisa Aultman-Hall

Dr. Lisa Aultman-Hall is Professor and Chair of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Vermont. She is a former Associate Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. Her research focuses on transportation systems, especially methods to collect unique databases for modeling and analysis of long-distance intercity travel, transportation sector emissions, network resiliency, streetscape design, and non-motorized transportation. She was the founding Director of the interdisciplinary Vermont Transportation Research Center, whose focus included land use and transportation models. 

Guest Respondents

Image of Joe Segale

Joe Segale, a Professional Engineer and certified Professional Transportation Planner, is the Director of the Policy, Planning and Research Bureau for the Vermont Agency of Transportation. He is responsible for oversight of the Agency’s research, development and technology transfer program and planning and policy development to guide agency spending, decision-making and effective resource management. He has more than 30 years of public and private sector experience in transportation and development and prior to joining VTrans, worked as a consultant serving clients that included municipalities, regions, states and developers. He is a past president of the New England Institute of Transportation Engineers, is a former selectboard member and currently serves on the planning commission in Huntington, VT. He holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Image of Mollie D'Agostino

Mollie Cohen D'Agostino's work focuses on the 3 Revolutions in Transportation: vehicle sharing, electrification and automation at the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy. She also serves as the policy lead for Emerging Technology for the UC Institute of Transportation Studies, representing research at UC Davis, Berkeley, LA, and Irvine. Her work typically aims to synthesize academic research findings to inform policy makers and practitioners. Her recent publications have focused on automated vehicle policy, mobility data, congestion pricing, and transit payment innovations. Prior to joining UC Davis, she worked with the California League of Conservation Voters, the Oakland At-large City Council member, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Mollie has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

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