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There can be no doubt about it: autonomous or connected vehicles will not exist without road infrastructure being adapted to these new means of transport. Because they remain an essential vector in mobility, central to regional cohesion and equity between urban, suburban and rural zones, roads must be rethought, both in terms of services and uses and in terms of legislation and public policy.
Today, France has more than 1.1 million km of roads (source: URF, 2017) of which less than 2% are franchised motorways or national highways. While the latter are generally well-equipped, this is less the case for local roads and streets, which account for no less than 63% of the French road network. This means that it is firstly necessary to calculate how much vehicle fittings and infrastructure equipment need to be adapted to each other. At the recent National Mobility Summit (Assises Nationales de la Mobilité), the Syntec Federation spoke up for engineering firms to remind delegates of the necessity of having an overall vision that might simultaneously address issues relating to infrastructure, equipment and associated services, whether these are dematerialised or not.
For several years, Egis has been anticipating changes in mobility, by ensuring that no emerging use is “left by the wayside”. In our strongly-held belief that it is crucial to establish a balance between infrastructure and vehicles, we were among the earliest investors in Infrastructure BIM (Building Information Modelling). The aim is to bring together, from design phase, all the considerations relating to the construction of roads, but also more importantly to their future management. Our most iconic reference in this field is undoubtedly the L2 expressway in Marseille, which was entirely designed on BIM.
In parallel, Egis is taking part or has taken part in several French and European programmes such as SCOOP or C-Road, two projects for the pilot deployment of smart and cooperative transport systems, that is, based on the exchange of data between vehicles and between the vehicle and the road. This development of data and vehicle sharing, the smart integration of new mobility uses (car sharing and carpooling to reduce solo car use, dynamic lane management, etc.) and the consideration of technological innovations - in particular from the automotive industry - are all imperatives which will form the foundation of the principal transport service offer tomorrow: optimised and demand-responsive personal mobility based on new collective mobility modes and a road tailored to emerging uses.
Egis jointly hosted the round table "Towards new mobilities? Challenges and potential in regions” at the 2019 Biennale des Territoires. - Crédits : Egis / Cerema