Smart Mobility Corridors: Exploring Freight Automation for Brown County, WI
Case TypeProject Stories
Sustainable Development Goals09 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
What applications do emerging automation technologies have for the future of freight andshipping in Brown County?
The two-person University of Oregon team of Joshua Skov and Graduate Student assessed possible technology and vendor options for a “smart mobility” corridor for freight coming into and leaving from the Port of Green Bay.
To explore this possibility, the team conducted market research to determine the keytechnologies in question, including vendors and business models, and the extent to which theyrequire surrounding 5G infrastructure, conducting interviews with industry thought leaders inautomation and freight logistics to gain insight on technology applications, implementation,and best practices.
Based on this research and outside examples of AV testing and pilots, the team developedthree potential deployment models for Brown County and assessed their feasibility. Whilethere are indeed exciting opportunities for automation to disrupt freight and logistics, the teamfound that there is a lack of technology or business ecosystem maturity at this moment torecommend a particular public-sector investment or pilot project in Brown County at this time.
First, fully-autonomous vehicle technology is nascent; many have pushed back the notion oflevel 4 or 5 autonomous trucks reaching scale for a decade or more. Second, partial andconditional autonomy including driver assist features and platooning are sweeping the logisticsindustry, but do not require any special regulatory approval, since the State of Wisconsinrecently approved the use of platooning.
However, the team lays out several next steps that Brown County can take to keep up with thepace of innovation in smart mobility. These include taking part in statewide strategyconversations, engaging with local industry, and investing in conventional infrastructureimprovements, which will make the region an enticing opportunity for future deployments.
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