Scenario planning for emerging technologies involves an informational and direction-setting process that aims to create more informed decision-making about current and future transportation priorities and investments.
Scenario planning enables public agencies to navigate the uncertain impacts of emerging technologies. By adapting commonly used scenario planning techniques for emerging technology adoption such as connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), agencies can work with stakeholders and communities to develop robust scenarios of how various future forces interact. These include rate of technological development, mode of deployment, public acceptance and adoption, policy and regulatory requirements, and other forces. Scenario planning for these technologies helps agencies explore and prioritize a wide range of possible responses, understand the risks and opportunities under different conditions, and craft adaptive strategies for implementation. This white paper describes cases studies that serve as illustrations of informational and direction-setting processes undertaken by public agencies across the US that aim to create more informed decision-making about current and future transportation priorities and investments.