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January 21, 2022The Latest on Technology Megatrend

In December 2021, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) adopted the Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register. OIPI will provide an annual update on the identified risks and opportunities. Please utilize InteractVTrans DataExplorer to view and download jurisdiction-specific data.

VTrans Megatrend 2: Technological Changes

VTrans Policy for the Development and Monitoring of Long-term Risk & Opportunity Register identifies four Megatrends (Climate, Technological Advancements, Consumption Patterns, and Socio-demographic Changes). This web page focuses on Megatrend # 2: Technological Advancements, which includes the following Macrotrends.
  • Adoption of Highly Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
  • Adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • Growth in Shared Mobility

There is significant uncertainty around the forecasts; therefore, three scenarios - High, Medium, and Low Impacts - are developed for each Macrotrend. Finally, cumulative impacts of this and other macrotrends are estimated in Step 3 of the policy (web page).

Macrotrend # 2: Adoption of Highly Autonomous Vehicles

The drivers of this macrotrend include (1) advancement of vehicle sensing and information processing technologies for automation; (2) industry-wide push and investments towards development of automated vehicles; and (3) consumer preferences for safety and openness to vehicle technology. The following chart shows the estimated market share of vehicles with automation level 4 or higher in a medium impact scenario.


Estimated Market Share of Level 4+ Autonomous Vehicles, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045

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Macrotrend # 3: Adoption of Electric Vehicles

The drivers of this macrotrend include (1) Technological advancements of battery technology; (2) Decreasing manufacturing costs of batteries; (3) Growth in national charging infrastructure; and (4) public policy. The following chart shows the estimated market share of electric vehicles in a medium impact scenario.


Estimated Market Share of Electric Vehicles, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045

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This chart is intended for view in portrait mode or on larger screens

Macrotrend # 4: Growth in Shared Mobility

The drivers of this macrotrend include (1) Growth in broadband, and high prevalence and increasing capabilities of mobile communication devices; and (2) Increase in number of workers interested in work hour flexibility or willing to work in the ‘gig’ economy. The following chart shows the projected share of single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) vehicle miles traveled (VMT) switchable to ridesourcing and micromobility services in a medium impact scenario.


Projected 2045 Share of Urban Area SOV Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Switchable to Ridesourcing/TNC’s and Micromobility, Medium Impact Scenario

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This chart is intended for view in portrait mode or on larger screens

Cumulative Impacts of Mega and Macrotrends on Virginia’s Transportation Goals

Cumulative impacts and the resulting risks and opportunities this and other Macrotrends are available on this webpage: Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register. Please refer to the following resources for more information:

Noteworthy Items

  • The intent is to prepare, not predict. This risk-based approach allows for identification and analysis of a range of potential impacts to help determine temporal proximity and relative priority.
  • Policy drivers can modify trends to achieve more desirable outcomes.
  • The Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register allows for monitoring and annual reporting of these trends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for more specific information about the Policy for the Development and Monitoring of VTrans Long-term Risk & Opportunity Register? Find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page