Road transportation technology is entering into a new era. Building on the decades-old foundation of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), rapid advances in connectivity, automation, artificial intelligence and sensing technologies will enable major leaps forward in the safety, efficiency, accessibility and mobility enabled by road transportation.
Because many of these technologies are outside the scope of traditional transportation engineering, road authorities are challenged to assess, integrate and deploy them. Legacy systems tend to be electro-mechanical and on closed networks, while new systems are cyber-physical and online. So, while road authorities must remain able to maintain legacy systems (many of which have expected life spans of several decades), they must also understand the cybersecurity implications of the new field equipment being deployed and its associated vulnerabilities. They must also assess the vulnerabilities of legacy equipment that is brought online, because it may not be adequately secure.
Road authorities are also being called upon to actively prepare for connected and automated vehicles. According to the Automated and Connected Vehicles Policy Framework (Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, 2019), “In preparing for AV/CVs, governments will have to rethink traditional forms of mobility and urban planning. We need to monitor potential impacts of AV/CV technologies to help us plan in the long term. Being proactive will help governments do their part to prepare the public domain for the promises of AV/CVs.”
In order to address this challenge, road authorities require access to highly qualified personnel (HQP) whose skillsets range from traditional civil and transportation engineering to computer and software engineering, and who offer expertise in data analytics, radio communications, and cybersecurity. Road authorities must take an active role in fostering an HQP talent pipeline.
The goals of this study are to understand the skills gap faced by road authorities, and to propose measures to address that gap. The study will identify the types of training and academic programs that are needed, and that could be implemented by Canadian stakeholders over the next few years.
The study will:
Consultation will be a major element of this project, and will involve selected representatives of academia, domestic and international road authorities, associations, and industry. The consultation will be focused by the results of a literature review and online research.
The main project deliverable will be a research report with analysis and recommendations.