Wei Li (Urban Planning):

Smart Cities Program

The Smart Cities Program utilizes research on autonomous vehicles (AV) to envision future urban form with AV Technologies. The development of the AV technology has gained substantial momentum in recent years. Many researchers believe that transformative changes will occur in regards to the way urban mobility is delivered and on urban form when humans hand over driving tasks to automation. Exactly how and when AV and allied technologies will be fully deployed is subject to uncertainties related to technological feasibility, consumer perceptions, market acceptance, and institutional and regulatory changes. Regardless of the exact timing, changes will continue to occur at a rapid pace, and will have important implications to urban form, land use, and land development patterns. The impact of AV on the form and function of urban communities is a topic of interest to policy makers, public agency personnel, researchers, and the private sector. In May 2017, Wei Li organized an interdisciplinary charrette at Texas A&M University to discuss future scenarios of urban development with consideration of autonomous vehicles and other components of the smart and connected communities. Experts and professionals from various fields relevant to planning, design, and development of cities generated ideas on the potential influences of autonomous transportation technologies on urban form and land use. This program will build on this momentum. Simultaneously, it will work to relocate the Transportation Certificate from the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center into CHUD.