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January 21, 2022The Latest on Technology Megatrend

In December 2021, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) adopted the Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register. OIPI will provide an annual update on the identified risks and opportunities. Please utilize InteractVTrans DataExplorer to view and download jurisdiction-specific data.

VTrans Megatrend 2: Technological Changes

VTrans identifies Technological Changes as one of four megatrends (powerful and transformative forces) that will impact the Commonwealth’s future transportation network. Technological changes are being shaped by the following three transportation macrotrends (emerging patterns of change):
  • Adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs)
  • Adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)
  • Growth in shared mobility

Three scenarios (low, medium, high) reflect uncertainty regarding forecasts. The policy relies on cumulative impacts of this and other macrotrends to identify risks and opportunities to the Commonwealth’s transportation system.

Macrotrend # 2: Adoption of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

The drivers of this macrotrend include the advancement of vehicle sensing and information processing technologies; industry-wide investment to develop CAVs; and consumer preferences for safety and openness to vehicle technology. The following chart shows the estimated market share of vehicles with Level 4 (high driving automation) or higher in a medium-impact scenario.


Estimated Market Share of Level 4+ Autonomous Vehicles, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045

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Macrotrend # 3: Adoption of Electric Vehicles

The leading factors for the adoption of electric vehicles are technological advancements in battery technology, lowered manufacturing costs of batteries, growth in national charging infrastructure, and shifts in public policy. The following chart shows the estimated market share of electric vehicles between 2019 and 2045 in a medium-impact scenario.


Estimated Market Share of Electric Vehicles, Medium Impact Scenario, 2045

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This chart is intended for view in portrait mode or on larger screens

Macrotrend # 4: Growth in Shared Mobility

The leading factors influencing growth in shared mobility are broadband adoption and the high prevalence and increasing capabilities of mobile communication devices, and the increase in workers interested in ‘gig’ economy jobs. The following chart shows the projected share of vehicle miles traveled by single-occupancy vehicles that could be replaced by micromobility or ride-hailing in a medium-impact scenario.


Projected 2045 Share of Urban Area SOV Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Switchable to Ridesourcing/TNC’s and Micromobility, Medium Impact Scenario

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Cumulative Impacts of Mega and Macrotrends on Virginia’s Transportation Goals

Cumulative impacts and the resulting risks and opportunities this and other Macrotrends are available on this webpage: Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register. Please refer to the following resources for more information:

Noteworthy Items

  • The intent is to prepare, not predict. This risk-based approach allows for identification and analysis of a range of potential impacts to help determine temporal proximity and relative priority.
  • Policy drivers can modify trends to achieve more desirable outcomes.
  • The Policy for Development and Monitoring of VTrans Risk & Opportunity Register allows for monitoring and annual reporting of these trends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for more specific information about the Policy for the Development and Monitoring of VTrans Long-term Risk & Opportunity Register? Find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions page