Impact of innovative technologies on highway operators: Tolling organizations' perspective

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Highways play a vivacious role in a country's economic growth, by facilitating movement of both goods and people from one place to another. Over a short period of time, innovation in automobile and information technology has seen an unprecedented
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     Proceedings of 7th Transport Research Arena TRA 2018, April 16-19, 2018, Vienna, Austria Impact of innovative technologies on highway operators: Tolling Organizations’ perspective Muhammad Azmat a* , Sebastian Kummer  a , Lara Trigueiro Moura  b , Federico Di Gennaro c , Rene Moser  d   a Vienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for Transport and Logistics, Welthandelsplatz 1, Building D1, 4 th  floor, 1020 Vienna, Austria, b  A-to-Be (Brisa),Department of Research and Innovation, Quinta da Torre da Aguilha 20190 São Domingos de Rana – Lisbon, Portugal c  AISCAT, Technical and International Affairs Division  ! Via G. Donizetti 10 – 00198 Roma, Italia, d   ASFINAG, Strategy, International relations and Innovation department, Rotenturmstrasse 5-9, pf 983  A-1011 Vienna, Austria. Abstract Highways play a vivacious role in a country’s economic growth, by facilitating movement of both goods and  people from one place to another. Over a short period of time, innovation in automobile and information technology has seen an unprecedented growth and this exploratory research highlights the impact of advent of innovative technologies like Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, Internet of Things applications and Big Data analytics on highway operators, as reflected in the opinions of organizations around the world (highway operators, toll agencies, suppliers, consultants and associations). The opinions were collected on a Likert scale type online survey, which was later tested for its empirical significance with non-parametric Binomial and Wilcoxon signed rank tests, supported by descriptive analysis. The research results clearly indicate that these technologies and  products are not far from realization and while on one hand they would facilitate highway operations on the other hand they may pose some serious challenges for operators.  Keywords:  Internet of Things; Autonomous Vehicles; Connected Vehicles; Highway Operators; New Trends, Mobility Behavior *  Corresponding author. Tel: +43-1-31336-4843 ; Fax: +43-1-31336-905981 E-mail address: mazmat@wu.ac.at   Azmat et al., / TRA2018, Vienna, Austria, April 16-19, 2018 1.   Envisaging the future of transportation An ever-increasing need for freight and public transport has been seen all over the world. This need calls for efficient road transport, which is highly flexible in terms of distance covered by people and nature/number of goods transported. But it also puts a lot of strain on difficult-to-expand bottle necks and existing infrastructures. Increasing urbanization is causing an upsurge in the urban population and their needs as well and this will shape the future of transport (Daimler, 2014). Of late, the advancement in technology has influenced the automobile industry to a great extent, by introducing automated driving, which is a new concept to many (Fagnant and Kockelman, 2015). Conventionally vehicles have always been driven by humans but the new technology offers automation in driving by the use of communication, controls and embedded systems (Gerla et al., 2014). Over the next few years there will be a paradigm shift in road transportation, with the release of automatic vehicles on the road connected with (Makridis et al., 2017) Internet of Things (Miorandi et al.,2012) and Big Data (Shi and Abdel-Aty, 2015). These technological advancements would make highway commute easier and more efficient, however they may also pose some difficult challenges (Shi and Abdel-Aty, 2015). While ingenious, modern communication technologies provide an intensive tracking and monitoring system for vehicles and infrastructure, in keeping with the safety and security legislative framework, they also require effective policies and infrastructure to handle the flow of automated traffic. In order to prepare them for facing the challenges of the future and to equip them for the opportunities that in holds, it is essential that our highway operators should be aware of these technological advancements. 1.1.   Study focus Scientific work and researches have highlighted mainly the technical aspects and potential societal impact of modern technological advancements, as discussed by Fagnant and Kockelman (2015), Litman (2015), Azmat et al., (2016). However, their impact on highway or toll operators has mostly been neglected and very little work has been done towards this domain by researchers and organizations like Shi and Abdel-Aty (2015), UDOT (2016), Bierstedt et al., (2014). This study is the starting point for understanding and exploring the organizations 1   point of view on how innovative technologies would affect highway operators, toll agencies and highways in the future. More precisely, this study focuses the following dimensions of innovative technologies: •   Technology maturity time line •   Potential future opportunities, benefits and challenges for highway operators and toll agencies. The first focal point tries to identify the time it would take for technologies like connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and Internet of Things to be ready for implementation by highway operators. It is important as it would facilitate the policy makers of such organizations in long term organizational planning, redefining and reshaping the existing code of conduct. Whereas the second point tries to identify their potential benefits, allowing highway operators to plan for and avail all the opportunities that come with them. Moreover, this study attempts at making highway operators aware and preparing them for the challenges they might face in the future. 2.   Highlights of innovation in automobile industry Recently, exponential technological growth has been observed in the automotive industry. In this section, we will highlight the current state of the modern technologies as well as potential benefits and challenges so far discussed by different researchers. 2.1.    Autonomous vehicles (AV) An autonomous or self-driving vehicle is one that can drive itself from one point to another given point, without constant control and input from a human driver (Azmat et al., 2016). However, every commercial automobile manufacturer has his own definition of an autonomous vehicle (Bierstedt et al., 2014). Autonomous Driving is considered to be the biggest transformative development in the post-modern era, which will change the dynamics of transportation. As it is based on the use of inventive, modern technology its impacts on road transport are 1  Organizations which are directly or indirectly involved in highway operations like: toll agencies, highway operators, suppliers, consultants etc.   Azmat et al., / TRA2018, Vienna, Austria, April 16-19, 2018 diverse (Rosenzweig and Bartl, 2015). These include enhanced vehicle and road safety, reduced impedance of traffic and a change in travel behaviour (Fagnant and Kockelman, 2015). 2.1.1.    Expected benefits and challenges of AV According to Litman (2015) and Kyriakidis et al., (2015), it is predicted that autonomous vehicles will escalate convenience and safety of travellers, reduce hindrance caused by congestion and limit fuel consumption, while Fagnant and Kockelman (2015) proposed that AV operations are inherently different from human-driven vehicles. AVs can be computed to make them follow traffic laws, have lesser reaction time and can be drafted to control the flow of traffic, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Autonomous vehicles can even be made to gauge the breaking and acceleration decisions of surrounding vehicles to avoid congestion and drastically reduce road accidents. Both researches conclude that a pivotal impact of autonomous vehicles would be reduced congestion of roads, increased road safety and an increased highway capacity as discussed by Bierstedt et al., (2014). The much-needed mobility that AVs can provide to the elderly and disabled people is also note-worthy (Fagnant and Kockelman, 2015). An autonomous vehicle may easily administer common road situations; however, it is a daunting task to design a system that can perform safely in nearly every situation. Researchers also agree that autonomous vehicles can be easy targets for cyber-crime and may be difficult to regulate (Fagnant and Kockelman, 2015), (Azmat et al., 2016), (Litman, 2015). 2.2.   Connected Vehicles Connectivity supported vehicles able to correspond with their internal (inside of the car) and external (outside of the car) surroundings are referred as Connected Vehicles. These vehicles wirelessly perform certain activities i.e., supporting the communications of vehicle-to sensor on-board (V2S), vehicle-to road infrastructure (V2R), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-Internet (V2I) (Lu et al., 2014). 2.2.1.    Notable benefits and challenges of CV Connected vehicles are practical, up-to-date and synchronized. They would lay the ground several applications for road safety (like, lane change warning, collision detection or prevention and cooperative merging), green and smart transportation (for example; intelligent traffic signal controlling and scheduling, better fleet management etc.). CV would also offer location dependent services (like, POI and route optimization etc.) and access to internet in-vehicle (Lu et al., 2014). Every technology comes at certain cost and it so do connected vehicles. There are numerous threats highlighted  by researchers in the field and one such critical threat is Cyber-crime. One form of which is Malware; malevolent software designed to disrupt computerized actions or gain illegal and unlawful access to information. Malware can corrupt vehicles through numerous entry points such as Wi-Fi hotspots on vehicles, wireless communication with roadside networks, internet connectivity, infected consumer electronic devices (for example; memory storage devices, USB, smart phones etc.) connected wirelessly or physically to the vehicle. Known weaknesses in the design and applications of on board communication systems, software, hardware, and applications can be subjugated by malware to infect a vehicle. (Zhang et al., 2014) 3.   Highlights of innovation in information technology industry with respect to transport industry Problems currently faced by highways, freeways and urban areas can be addressed using technology-based solutions like Internet of things and Big Data. These technologies mainly involve internet and GPS (global  positioning system) enabled devices, to provide valuable information from several data points, in combination with cameras, sensors, radio frequencies and other tools using similar technologies (Dong et al., 2015). 3.1.   ‘Internet of Things’ (IOT) and its key benefits Over two billion people around the world use the Internet for daily tasks, from sending receiving emails to controlling house appliances. As more and more people join the network of global information and communication infrastructure, another big leap forward is coming, connected to the use of the Internet as a universal podium for letting machines and smart objects interconnect, dialogue, calculate and coordinate (Miorandi et al., 2012). This idea of physical objects being connected to the Internet at an unprecedented rate   Azmat et al., / TRA2018, Vienna, Austria, April 16-19, 2018  brings us one step closer to realization of the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT will transform traditional objects into the smart objects by exploiting its underlying technologies like permeating and persistent computing, communication, sensor networks and internet protocols (Al-Fuqaha et al., 2015). The loT has incredible potential of transforming the future, where almost every consumer device, from cars to a coffee mug, may connect through the Internet. This will lay the foundation of data points, which would lead to better society  by providing enormous quantities of valuable sensory data for analytics and other uses (Tran, 2017). In case of highways and urban areas IOT would bring with it several benefits for example; it will be possible to avoid congestion by monitoring traffic in real time and deploy services that offer traffic routing advice for better traffic management. In this angle, cars would appear as smart objects. In addition, parking issues in urban areas can also be mitigated by using smart parking devices systems, based on RFID and sensor technologies that will observe available parking spaces and provide drivers with automated parking advice in real time. Resulting in improvement of mobility in urban area. Moreover, internet connected sensors may also monitor the flow of automobiles on highways and gather useful information such as numbers of cars at any given point in time and  place and their average speed. IOT enabled tools on highways could detect level of carbon dioxide, PM10, etc. and distribute such information to health agencies. Furthermore, connected sensors and other devices could be used in some highway settings for detection of traffic and speed violations and transmit the related data to law enforcement agencies for recognising the violator or to save details for following accident scene investigation (Miorandi et al., 2012). 3.2.   Challenges in IOT realization As the world becomes more interconnected through the Internet it gives birth to an interesting digital  phenomenon in technology world known as Internet of Things (loT), but this technology brings with it many legal challenges. These challenges may include but are not limited to privacy desecrations and security risks (Tran, 2017). According to (Miorandi et al., 2012) and (Bandyopadhyay and Sen, 2011) security is a critical aspect of the widespread adoption of IoT technologies and applications. Stakeholders are unlikely to adopt IoT solutions on a large scale unless guaranteed of system level confidentiality, authenticity and privacy. They further added that “data confidentiality” signifies an essential issue in IoT setups and that only ratified bodies should be able to access and alter data. The discussion also includes that privacy and trust are very important factors when addressing IOT applications and rules must be demarcated under which, data concerning individual users may be retrieved. The privacy issues are also addressed by (Tran, 2017) as he insists the legal community to prepare for this stirring yet alarming digital era and the privacy challenges that will escort its arrival. 4.   Research Methodology This is an exploratory study, where primary data has been collected from organizations across the world, actively or passively involved in highway operations, consultation, support or supplies etc. to understand and evaluate the  potential impact of innovative technologies on highway operators. 4.1.    Data collection tool As discussed by Meek et al., (2007) “Likert scale” style survey tool was selected for this study, where respondents were asked for their views and opinion on innovative technologies (more precisely about Autonomous, Connected Vehicles and Internet of Things and Big Data) and their impact on highway operators. The scale measures from 1 to 5 with one being strongest response and 5 being weakest response. The survey was executed using lime survey, an online tool to conduct survey. Data was collected between July 10 th  and August 15 th  2017. The tool assigned a system generated ID for each respondent in order to keep the data unbiased and anonymous. Mainly the type of data collected through this survey was ordinal data. 4.2.    Respondents The survey was distributed to nearly 200 different members of, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). At the end of survey submission deadline, we received 83 responses in total, but 51 out of them were completed rest were incomplete, therefore, they were not considered fit for analysis and discarded. 51 respondents make around 25.5% of the total population. Table 1  below explains the break-up of respondents.   Azmat et al., / TRA2018, Vienna, Austria, April 16-19, 2018 •    N = 51 (Total number of respondents) Table 1. Break up of responding organizations. Frequency % Other 05 9.80 Highway operator / Toll agency 24 47.1 Supplier 08 15.7 Consultant 12 23.5 Association 02 3.90 Total 51 100 4.3.    Research technique After initial assessment of the data it was observed that data does not meet the assumption of approximate normal distribution, therefore nonparametric statistical testing approach was adopted (Meek et al., 2007). The research questions were tested with Binomial test and Wilcoxon signed test, which is based on the assumption of independent observations, symmetry (about zero), and no ties (Walsh, 1959). Binomial tests allow us to see the  possibility of occurrence of one of the two possible outcomes. In this research it was used to see respondent’s  point of view on significance of dependent variables, the significance of each dependent variable in all cases were tested with a cut-off point set at 3, which means all organizations are divided into two groups. First is less than and equal to 3, are those whose opinion is from very strong to moderate intense and group 2 is greater than 3, whose response is from little to no when measured on respective test scale. The test proportion is set at 50%. On the other hand, Wilcoxon sign test allows us to see if the mean rank of two related samples differ, or in other words it allows the analysis of matched-pair data, based on differences, or for a single sample (Woolson, 2008). In this research this test was used to see, which dependent variables have more or less significant impact within same group, when compared to other variables by comparing signs and mean values. In addition to above mentioned statistical tests, descriptive analysis is done to see the respondents view point on maturity time line for innovative technologies. The data was analysed using statistical software “SPSS”. 4.4.    Hypotheses Two sets of literature derived hypotheses are listed under heading 6 “Hypothesis assessment summary”. It allows reader to briefly understand the hypotheses, allow them to see how they have been tested? And whether it is accepted or rejected based on the test results. 5.   Results and Analysis 5.1.   Time line In pursuit of understanding the realistic timeline for maturity of technologies like Big Data, Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicles and Logistics 4.0 (Smart Logistics). The participating organizations were asked, when in their opinion, the above-mentioned technologies would be mature enough (from pilot to full operational level) to  be implemented on highways in their respective countries? Figure 1- Maturity timeline for different innovative technologies  
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