Tue, Feb 5, 2019

Is Your City Prepared for Autonomous Vehicles?

Like with many new technologies, autonomous vehicles (“AV”) will provide solutions for a variety of societal needs, business efficiencies and other aspects of life. Among many, expectations from the technology include a decrease in accidents (deaths) and impaired driving, more mobility for those with disabilities, better delivery systems, and optimized parking capacity. Cities across the U.S. are taking steps to adequately prepare for the advancement of AVs. To operate successfully and safely, AVs are engineered to interpret their surroundings. As such, cities will need to document these surroundings, so AVs can deliver benefits and avoid chaotic disruption. To accomplish this, cities must first undertake a comprehensive asset inventory to create the database or the foundation for AV operators to build upon. 

To comply with financial audits, cities are likely performing asset inventory on a cyclical basis. However, financial compliance efforts will often validate assets in groups and only above a certain dollar threshold. In other words, asset inventories implemented for fiscal purposes will not typically be comprehensive enough to support the objectives sought by AV operators. The broader inventory should include every piece of infrastructure, property and device a city owns, along with their exact locations, conditions and associated costs (e.g. lights, signs, curbs, crosswalks, parking spaces, etc.). To avoid overlap, city financial departments should work with city planners to leverage the comprehensive inventory results for financial compliance but allow city planners to capture the data points needed for planning an effective framework for AVs and infrastructure maintenance. City planners will also need to continually update the framework for additions, changes and deletions of other conditions, such as parking laws, construction zones, speed limits, etc.

Duff & Phelps services clients around the world in virtually every industry with our best in class approaches to fixed asset management and property insurance appraisal. Starting with proven methodology and procedures, our specialists draw upon deep experience and leading-edge technology to consistently evolve and refine new and better procedures. With over 3,500 professionals worldwide, our professionals can assist with your inventory and valuation needs.

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