According to IHS Markit forecasts, by 2040, 33 million automated vehicles will drive the planet’s roads. Participants in the “Smart Urban Infrastructure for Unmanned Mobility” session have discussed how realistic this prospect is.

The use of smart technologies is not the only condition for the development of unmanned transport market. We need a transformation of urban infrastructure, which is not yet ready for such vehicles. Robin De Kaiser, Director for Business Solutions and Innovations at Orange Business Services, said that in his native Antwerp city streets are very narrow: “And in many old cities there is the same story. Maneuverability is required to move along them. How will drones ride there?”

Another important factor is the tight regulatory framework and certification. Evgeny Belyanko, GLONASS Vice President for Technologies, mentioned the Russian experience in testing drones as an example: “A global experiment is underway in two regions of our country. 55 such cars drive in Moscow and Tatarstan. It is very important to conduct tests in real conditions - on real roads where other cars are driving and there are traffic signs”.

Frank Hoke, Volkswagen Group Rus IT Director, emphasized that during drone testing, the most important thing is to understand how they interact with each other on the roads and teach them how to do it correctly: “For this, tests need to be carried out on specially constructed sites or remote routes. This is what we are doing in the USA and in Europe”.

The moderator, Head of BCG public sector expert practice in Russia, Konstantin Polunin, asked all participants in the discussion if they would put their children in autonomous cars? Experts unanimously replied that until now they could not trust this type of transport so much, although in the future drones should become safer than ordinary cars.