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Where IT infrastructure and business strategy meet
The scale of corporate IT infrastructure has increased dramatically over the past decade and a half. At many companies, it has moved from basements with a few dozen servers to sophisticated data centers with thousands or tens of thousands of them. Networked storage hardly existed in the early ’90s but today consumes tens of millions of dollars in large IT organizations.
There are good reasons for this expansion. Infrastructure runs the applications that process transactions, handles the customer data that yield market insights, and supports the analytical tools that help executives and managers make and communicate the decisions shaping complex organizations. In fact, infrastructure has made possible much of the corporate growth and rising productivity of recent years.
Yet the very ubiquity of these computing, storage, and networking technologies makes some executives regard IT infrastructure as a commodity. That’s a mistake. Yes, components such as servers and storage—even some support processes, like the monitoring of applications—have been commoditized. Even so, an effective infrastructure operation creates value by making sound choices about which technologies to use and how to integrate them. A technology product purchased from a vendor may be a commodity, but the ability to bring together hardware, software, and support to provide the right combination of cost, resiliency, and features for a new application isn’t.
Especially now, when every expenditure and budget item receives careful scrutiny, infrastructure leaders must engage with business executives and application developers to expose potential sources of value, agree on priorities, and measure not only the cost but also the impact of infrastructure.
Sources of value
There’s ample evidence that the creative use of infrastructure has helped leading companies to make themselves more efficient, redefine their business models, and improve the customer experience.
Real-time data collection. Insurance companies in Britain and the United States use GPS devices and sensors to record the speed of cars and even the damage to them. In manufacturing, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags now provide insights into the way goods move through supply chains and thus reduce inventory levels. In both cases, infrastructure supports and manages the sensors and other devices needed to capture information reliably and inexpensively.
Large-scale analytics. Pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers deploy low-cost computing grids that, respectively, make it possible to develop and test drugs and to develop products that would have been inconceivable even a decade ago.
Speed to market. Across industries, fast reaction times give companies advantages such as the ability to set up sales offices in rapidly growing territories quickly, to give customers strong off-site support for their initiatives, or to meet demand for services when online interactions surge. The best infrastructure units can support all of these goals—and more.
The customer experience. The best retailers and service providers let their customers interact with them via cell phones, call centers, and kiosks, as well as in person. To get the customer experience right, companies must be able to switch and route consumers across different types of networks flexibly. Only a well-tuned infrastructure can provide that kind of flexibility.
Employees’ productivity. Managerial, sales, technical, professional, and clerical personnel do most of their work on the corporate infrastructure, from desktop productivity tools to smartphones. Infrastructure organizations that aspire to create value must make decisions about issues such as how to balance security with ease of use, where to deploy videoconferencing equipment, and which types of personal devices make the most sense.
Developers’ productivity. Too many applications developers spend up to a third of their time as amateur systems engineers: they devote hours to consulting with server and network teams, grappling with incompatibilities, and struggling to choose technologies that bridge the gaps. That time could be better used modeling applications for business processes or writing code. One investment bank created a virtual-development environment, freeing up tens of thousands of developer hours each year.
Engaging with the business
What must you do to make business leaders understand the value of infrastructure—without seeming to be protecting your turf? We’ve found that several approaches work well.
Be credible on the basics. Now more than ever, business leaders demand solid execution on costs and service levels before they will seriously consider moving to the next level. They see value creation and innovation as a complement of efficiency, not a substitute for it.
Understand the pain points. Infrastructure touches every part of a business. Use that central position to figure out which groups struggle with analytics, need to open (and close) sites more quickly and cheaply, or have the greatest need to get more value from their development teams.
Be proactive. Go to business leaders with ideas that they can evaluate and refine— before they ask for them.
Retain funds for R&D. Even in tight times, the ability to offer IT infrastructure innovations regularly, before the business demands them, protects you against being seen as a purveyor of commodities.
Invest in talent. Supplement your team’s depth in technical and operational matters by adding financial and business analysis skills. To do so, you’ll have to invest in working to develop employees who can explain the IT infrastructure’s business value and work with business partners to deliver it.
The IT infrastructure organization can be positioned not just as an efficient taker of orders but also as a partner in determining and executing a company’s business strategy.
Jeffrey Hughes is a principal in McKinsey’s Chicago office, and James Kaplan is a principal in the New York office.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Ulrich Freking and Miguel Payan to the development of this article.
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How CIOs should think about business value
Taking silicon to the cloud
Siltronic now has a resilient and future-ready hybrid-cloud infrastructure supported by transparent, outcome-based management services.
Call for change
Siltronic stands alone.
As one of the most recognized global leaders in the design and manufacture of hyperpure silicon wafers, Germany-based Siltronic AG occupies a critical position in the global semiconductor supply chain. With the production of every single wafer, a large amount of data is generated throughout Siltronic’s value chain processes. A resilient IT infrastructure backbone as well as modern IT security technologies are crucial for Siltronic.
Siltronic faced a massive undertaking in establishing its standalone IT environment, process landscape and operating model at speed. It needed to manage the carve-out along with major IT transformation activities while maintaining operational efficiency, optimizing IT costs, and cause as little business disruption as possible to its critical manufacturing operations.
Additionally, the IT transformation needed to ensure the company was well prepared to support its future business growth with modern IT capabilities, such as hybrid cloud environment. This included the protection of Siltronic’s intellectual property—arguably the most valuable part of its business—with state-of-the-art security and data protection.
Working with Accenture enabled us to successfully manage the carve out, while at the same time conducting a major IT transformation and migrating to the cloud.
Scott McClure / Program Manager – Siltronic
When tech meets human ingenuity
Complex transformation on cloud.
Siltronic entrusted Accenture with the responsibility for driving and accelerating its entire IT transformation as well as taking over the running of its IT operations. This spanned not only the full breadth of Siltronic’s technology environment, but also establishing new processes, and incident and change management activities.
The first step on this journey to Siltronic’s standalone IT landscape, was to transition IT infrastructure and application services from the parent company: Wacker Chemie AG to Accenture, initially implementing “dual operations” before carefully shifting over to a new standalone 24x7 operating model—this critical step was achieved in just six months.
While the operational handover to Accenture was still underway, the transformation activities were initiated in a series of parallel infrastructure workstreams. The carve-out was a complex transformation program of its own as it incorporated the setup and execution of a range of new technologies for Siltronic—everything from cloud and on-premises infrastructure to networking ecosystems and from application operations to security and service management.
In total, Accenture helped Siltronic migrate 1,000+ servers and 4,000+ items of production equipment to a hybrid cloud environment using Microsoft Azure, enabling 700+ users on Azure virtual desktops.
The team helped move over 90 enterprise business systems to a new data center and onto Azure. All migrations were executed within planned system downtimes, and without any rollbacks.
Accenture also migrated over 20,000 devices for approximately 3,900 members of staff to the new IT environment, and 4,000 workplaces to Windows 10, introducing O365 and OneDrive.
Accenture designed a comprehensive set of 6+ centralized and cloud-ready service management processes based on out-of-the box ITIL/ITSM templates which were customized for Siltronic on ServiceNow.
A valuable difference
A high-tech solution for a high-tech business
Siltronic now has a modernized IT environment that is faster, scalable, more resilient, and easier to use. It can leverage best practice monitoring, capacity, and availability management, as well as automated ticket processing and performance analytics by using a state-of-the-art tools stack, including ServiceNow, AgentWorkspace, myWizard and SPLUNK. Thanks to the use of leading applications, infrastructure and IT security services from Accenture, Siltronic also benefits from measured, outcome based, transparent day-to-day IT management.
With its new state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, Siltronic is now also able to focus on strategic business initiatives with a significantly reduced time to market. Additionally, steps have been taken to establish a standard, globally-aligned IT architecture and standardized IT processes across all its locations. That’s not only more efficient, it also makes it easier to automate and innovate with IT in the future.
We needed a partner who could move us to the cloud and roll out new technology without disrupting our manufacturing production line.
Günter Riedhofer / CIO
Optimizing cloud with a hybrid solution
The choice of hybrid cloud means Siltronic gets the best of both worlds—access to the speed, scalability, and innovation of the public cloud and the rigorous data security and low levels of latency in a new on-premises environment. Both solutions are needed for a business like Siltronic’s. For its high-precision silicon wafer manufacturing operations, running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, having the processing power of an on-premises data center is essential. At the same time, using Microsoft Azure means the company can unleash cloud potential through new solutions to support more flexible working.
With Accenture’s help, Siltronic has taken a huge step forward to an innovative IT environment befitting a high-tech manufacturing business.
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IT Infrastructure Case Study: Auxis Helps Carve-Out Beat Aggressive Separation Deadline from Global Healthcare Corporation
Our South Florida-based client provides a world-class Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) solution. Its product suite helps improve quality and safety throughout product lifecycles for more than 1,100 organizations in 60 countries. Since 1986, its business has grown to about 300 employees and 17 offices worldwide. Previously part of a leading global healthcare corporation, the client was recently acquired by a global private equity investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses.
To cancel the pricey Temporary Separation Agreement (TSA) that had the seller continuing to operate IT for up to 9 months during the transition, the client was incentivized to quickly separate into a standalone organization. However, carving out its IT infrastructure and standing up IT operations represented a key challenge, with no IT team or leadership included as part of the divestiture to offer support.
With no IT infrastructure staff or even a CIO to lead the organization, the client didn’t have a vision of what it needed to separate from the selling company, as well as the costs and changes involved.
The client lacked the expertise to design, select, and implement an entirely new IT infrastructure platform , including end-user workstation imaging, productivity software (Messaging, Document Collaboration), voice services, business application and server migrations, security services, and IT governance and controls.
The TSA period was short , based on the complexity and dependencies of the existing IT platform.
Policies and procedures used to govern IT at the giant-sized, complex healthcare corporation didn’t translate to the smaller carve-out company. The client needed to design and implement new policies and procedures that could deliver the speed and agility it required while also supporting its new modern technologies.
Collaborating with a significantly larger, bureaucratic selling company can prove challenging during a carve-out . This deal was no exception: leading to friction, delays, and difficulty obtaining accurate information promptly. The seller also attempted to change direction after a migration approach was approved, causing additional delays while it was convinced the original proposal was correct
In addition to the 300 employees and contractors included in the divestiture, the client was hiring new staff and forming a new corporate culture at the same time it was building a technology footprint – triggering some delays and misunderstandings.
The small Project Management Office (PMO) spearheading the carve-out opted to run each departmental divestiture as a unique workstream instead of a unified program. This approach created some conflicts over competing priorities as it scrambled to simultaneously carve out key areas like Finance, HR, IT, Marketing, and Commercial Sales.
SOLUTION & APPROACH
A longtime partner of the private equity investment firm acquiring the client’s business, Auxis was tapped to lead the separation and buildout of the new standalone company’s core IT infrastructure services and supporting processes.
After a comprehensive discovery and planning process that included a full inventory, the Auxis team used its 24+ years of extensive IT expertise to design a new infrastructure platform and network redesign, separation, and migration strategy.
While the selling corporation kept its infrastructure on-premises, the separating company had already undergone an AWS cloud implementation that predominantly hosted its LIMS solution for clients. Moving the new company servers to the existing, modernized cloud platform - while strengthening the architecture and security - was the right strategy for the carve-out.
Auxis also proposed hiring a temporary CIO-as-a-service as a critical first step . Filling this role not only put a strong leader in place to manage the IT function but created awareness and communication with other workstreams operated by the carve-out SMO (Separation Management Office) to avoid misunderstandings.
To meet the client’s aggressive TSA deadline, Auxis implemented daily standups and action planning that ensured agility and quick change adaptation from its teams. The project included a project manager and solutions architect to deliver the expected results, as well as additional resources and overtime to compress the delivery schedule - especially during the end-of-year holiday season.
Auxis divided the carve-out transition plan into five tracks, securing licensing for all office applications, operating systems, and cloud services:
Track 1: End-User Computing and Mobility
Design, creation, and deployment of desktop images and technologies.
Consolidation and migration of all business and desktop applications.
Implementation of MS-Intune with Autopilot, enabling global end-users to run the brand-new workstation image on their desktops and mobile devices with automated software deployments and updates.
Track 2: Microsoft 365 Migration
Implementing a new Microsoft 365 tenant, allowing end-users to run a suite of cloud-based Microsoft products that includes email, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams.
Selection, design, and migration of voice services to Microsoft Teams.
Track 3: Networking
Design, planning, and migration of a segregated LAN/WAN network.
New network and telecom circuits connecting global locations across the U.S., France, Germany, U.K., Netherlands, and China to the cloud platform.
Implementation of an end-user VPN solution.
Track 4: Server Migration
Creation of a hybrid server infrastructure. That included migration of hundreds of AWS EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances from the seller’s on-premise VMWare environment.
Track 5: Security Tools Implementation
Without any security technologies to migrate from the seller’s environment, Auxis recommended the implementation of multiple solutions designed to protect users and infrastructure, including:
Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) to add a layer of protection to the sign-in process.
Email security using Proofpoint technologies.
Microsoft Defender for Cloud to detect vulnerabilities in servers and workstations.
Microsoft Defender URL Content Filtering to protect against advanced web-based threats and data theft while on and off the corporate network.
Microsoft Defender antivirus monitoring for nearly 700 computers, servers, and mobile devices.
Knowbe4 Security Awareness Training for end-users.
To accelerate completion of the IT carve-out, Auxis made sure all pieces were in place to start the migration as soon as the acquisition closed. The client now operates successfully as a standalone entity, working on its own IT domain and cloud tenant with Auxis as its end-user and infrastructure management provider.
Key results include:
Early IT TSA Termination
Auxis helped the client save millions by completing the IT carve-out on-time within six months . With successful standalone operations, the client was able to stop paying for the IT TSA about three months before it expired.
Seamless End-User Migration
With a proven migration strategy, Auxis enabled zero disruptions to the client’s 268 employees and 120 subcontractors during the transition. That includes the imaging of employee computers worldwide and provisioning of AWS workspaces for contractors, as well as migration of 400 mailboxes, 23 SharePoint sites (and their libraries), and OneDrive for 388 users to the new Microsoft 365 tenant.
Maximizing the Value of a Modern IT Cloud Infrastructure
The Auxis team designed and implemented a robust cloud migration and infrastructure strategy – delivering accelerated and achievable results aligned with the new company’s business goals. With its server infrastructure running smoothly, the client has been able to reap cloud benefits like cost efficiencies, increased speed to market, enhanced agility, and 24/7 redundancy.
Easing the Divestiture of Other Department
With every department ultimately dependent on reliable IT operations, completing the IT carve-out quickly and successfully supports the separation of other business functions.
Corporate Network Built with Redundancy in Mind
Auxis designed the new network to eliminate single points of failure, ensuring better stability and uptime during events that would otherwise take it offline . For instance, the design includes global telecom circuits and redundant end-user VPN platforms and office firewalls.
World-Class IT Policies, Procedures, and Governance Practice
With the seller’s IT practices mostly inapplicable, the Auxis team used its deep industry and IT experience to create and implement best-in-class, structured IT processes and governance practices for the new company. Auxis defined and implemented IT infrastructure controls and procedures. It also implemented monthly operational reporting , using analytics to help the client create visibility, measure performance, and address issues before they impact the business.
Pleased with the success of the IT carve out, the client decided to outsource day-to-day IT management and operations to Auxis Managed Services at the end of the migration. That includes 24/7 service desk support for end-users, End-Point Management and Support, 24/7 cloud and on-premises infrastructure network management, security, and Microsoft 365 services.
The client also tapped Auxis to support another carve-out phase, defining HR processes and procedures for onboarding and offboarding employees.
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IT Infrastructure Case Study
Legal search firm finds a match.
Solutus Legal Search needed anIT service provider thatwas knowledgeable, competent, and reliable. IT infrastructure is the backbone of their business so they needed an IT partner they could count on. Lanlogic expertise was the solution.
AN AWARD WINNING LEGAL RECRUITING AND CONSULTING FIRM
Founded in 2000, Solutusis considered a “best in class” company and market leader, dedicated to the placement of attorneys in law firms and corporations. The clients are The Who’s Who of the legal and corporate world. It is ranked by The Daily Journal as one of the leading legal search firms in California and the largest in the Silicon Valley. Solutus is headquartered in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with clients worldwide.
FINDING IT PROVIDERS WHO ARE EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD
Solutus previous IT service provider, was unreliable, provided terrible service, had no knowledge of the business, andincompetent. They were facedwith the challenge of finding a new IT provider that would handle their everyday computer needs, cloud storage, backup, troubleshooting, customer service, data migrations, they needed it all. They wanted someone who could provide around the clock monitoring.
SOLUTUS ENJOYS A STABLE RELIABLE ENVIRONMENT WITH AN IT PROVIDER
Working with Lanlogic, Solutus received the following benefits:
- A stable platform that needs littleor no administration from its employees.
- Systems up-to-date, maintained,and monitored 24X7.
- On-site Engineers
- Senior Managers help plan and implement projects
“Lanlogic is a true IT partner. They are experts in their field, reliable and are always engaged in providing us the best IT protection capabilities and service.”
DELIVERING A STABLE ENVIRONMENT
Working under a 99.9% uptime service level agreement, Solutus benefits from a single trusted vendor relationship for all strategic and operational IT needs. Employees are assured of rapid response times and high quality customer service with a comprehensive solution that reduces their risks and controls their costs.
“The Managed Services team is very responsive and helps to fixissues right away. They spend time to figure out our needs, and if we have a problem, they always get us back up and running quickly.”
The Value of a Trusted Advisor
Lanlogic offers a number of services to help control costs, reduce risk, and achieve peace of mind:
- IT Services & Support
- IT Consulting & Project Management
- IT Assessments & Planning
- Cloud Computing/SaaS/Hosted Services
What Separates Lanlogic From The Rest:
The breadth and depth of expertise of the Lanlogic staff allows us to deliver IT services enjoyed by top tier, global companies –solutions designed to meet your needs now and in the future.
OUR UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR BUSINESS
Whether you are just starting out or you are already a large organization, we pride ourselves in delivering IT solutions, individually-tailored by Microsoft Certified senior-level consultants.
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We are available when you need us. We keep your office running and employees productive at all times. For more information on any of our products or services please contact us today.
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IT Infrastructure Transformation: A Methodology for Success
Desire for it infrastructure transformation.
Over the past year, we have seen a substantial increase in the demand of organizations wanting to right-size, refresh, or otherwise transform their IT infrastructure/data center. Many organizations want to understand their opportunities to improve efficiency and service to the business and end-users through newer technology and IT delivery methodologies. Because the pressure to transform is increasing, many organizations are running head-first into change without clearly understanding the needs of the business or the most cost-effective strategy to deliver IT. One of the most common questions we hear from clients is “what workloads should I move to the cloud”? To effectively answer this question. a process of discovery and planning needs to be done.
IT Infrastructure Transformation Methodology
Over the past 16 years, our business (Zunesis) has developed a methodology and a group of talented technologists who work closely with clients to transform their IT infrastructure. First, we work to understand the business and the user requirements that matter today and tomorrow. We hear frequently from clients that they spend 90% of their time putting out fires and never find the time to develop a strategic IT infrastructure architecture, plan, or roadmap. The Zunesis IT infrastructure transformation methodology forces the production of these activities and documents. These delivery artifacts provide the guidance and direction for organizations to shape their IT infrastructure solutions now and into the future.
The Zunesis IT infrastructure transformation methodology prioritizes availability, resiliency, security, manageability, and performance. Our experience spans next-generation IT infrastructures for commercial and public sector organizations of all sizes and missions. The design efforts also take into consideration the financial constraints and the IT expertise of the organization.
We know transformation projects like this demand strong leadership and rigorous project management. We recognize that leadership and rigorous project management without outstanding communication are likely to cause problems. For this reason, our leadership approach is one of over-communication. We plan to keep all important stakeholders involved and engaged throughout the process. Zunesis provides supportive leadership in areas where presentations, justifications, logical explanations, and other communications are available to members of the leadership team.
The Key Phases of our time-tested IT Infrastructure Transformation Methodology include:
The Assessment phase sets the foundation for the rest of the engagement and requires a commitment of time from each of the key stakeholders in the organization. At Zunesis, we keep this process efficient by using a proven approach and seasoned and experienced IT professionals. We utilize efficient forums to collect, analyze and validate requirements and current infrastructure details.
Our approach includes reviewing existing documentation, workshops, on-line surveys, and interviews. This phase documents the current state of the IT infrastructure. This is all done with a consensus understanding of core business functions and desired future state of IT infrastructure requirements. During the Assessment Phase, it is also important to gain an understanding of any business or financial constraints as they will provide guard rails during the design and planning phases.
During the Design phase, developing the technology framework occurs. This is a guide to prioritize IT initiatives and projects. This phase also stack ranks the key technology strategic initiatives for the organization. All of the data and requirements collected during the Assessment Phase are used to inform the development of the IT Framework. The Zunesis team then creates and documents the Framework process and procedures. The IT infrastructure Framework along with the selected IT initiatives (priority and order) are presented, discussed, revised, and finalized.
The Planning Phase is where we build robust plans to ensure the successful implementation/deployment of the prioritized IT infrastructure projects. Zunesis recommends the development of a Technology Deployment Roadmap / Plan to describe the prioritized projects and the timeline for the implementation of those projects. Given resource, financial, and business constraints, the Technology Deployment Roadmap may define a 12-month timeline up to a 60-month timeline. It is most common for a roadmap to be 2-3 years long.
For each infrastructure initiative defined during the design phase, the associated IT projects and objectives to achieve them are defined. The hardware, software, and personnel need to accomplish these projects are also clearly defined. A detailed plan is developed for each project. We review each project plan thoroughly with the client and validate against resource, timeline, and financial constraints.
The Execution phase involves the actual implementation of selected IT projects to meet strategic IT initiatives and priorities. The IT infrastructure Framework and Roadmap are guides that inform every step of the project. All of these architectural, strategic, and structural documents ensure consistency and predictability during the execution/deployment phase.
The Zunesis team produces a Portfolio Management methodology and strategy including an organizational structure and process for management of the project portfolio defined in the Planning Phase. Documents and templates are created to support the management and communication processes during the execution phase.
Zunesis provides clients with a time-proven and efficient methodology for the development of a next-generation IT infrastructure. Our staff of consultants and engineers make the process as simple as possible while ensuring thoroughness and professionalism. Please reach out to Zunesis to see how we can help you with your IT infrastructure
About The Author
Case study: Updated IT Infrastructure Makes Technology & Business Innovation Possible
Nothing lasts forever, and for any business, keeping up with and staying ahead of the competition means having to overhaul the company’s IT infrastructure on a regular basis. Technology, the way we do business, and consumer demands, are changing so fast that the bright and shiny hardware you invested in just a few years ago can become unfit for the purpose very quickly. It’s important to be able to recognize when you need to upgrade, and how best to go about it to ensure minimum disruption to your processes.
Why Do You Need an IT Infrastructure Overhaul?
The obvious reason why you might need an IT infrastructure overhaul is that tech hardware doesn’t really have a very long lifespan . Desktop and laptop computers last for between three and five years on average, as do servers, so as part of machine management, it makes sense to replace or upgrade them before they start to wind down and become inefficient.
On top of that is the change in the ways we now work. Companies are increasingly moving towards remote working policies, where staff can (and often prefer to) use a mobile device to connect with and access the business network. In order to meet this need, they have to restructure their IT assets. Computers sitting idle in the office are a waste of money when IT spend could be used to furnish staff with their own mobile device.
Similarly, the need for team members, clients, stakeholders, and consumers to have on-demand access to data from anywhere, and the exponential growth of that data, means older machines and servers that can’t accommodate this, or suffer performance issues while struggling to, need to be replaced.
Security is also an issue because the older your operating system, the more vulnerable it will be to malware or ransomware attacks , as well as data loss.
The Challenge of Cost and Business Continuity
The main objections to an IT infrastructure overhaul are that it will cost too much and that it will disrupt daily business activities and processes, resulting in downtime the company can’t afford. This can lead to putting it on the long finger, but the longer your business goes without upgrading, the more outdated the IT becomes, meaning even bigger costs further down the line.
Simple upgrades to specific areas now could mean avoiding having to do a complete overhaul next year, so it makes sense financially to look at what you can improve on within your IT budget.
Upgrades to the technology infrastructure also make a lot of business sense because they enable new processes that can help you innovate and future-proof, keeping you ahead of the competition. IT is central to the operations of every modern-day business, so keeping it up to date is actually a key business investment that improves efficiency and productivity.
When it comes to the concern that business processes will be disrupted, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. By planning and carrying out your overhaul properly, you can implement the changes you need and ensure a smooth transition without having to face much downtime.
Steps to Take for a Pain-Free Overhaul
As with any business process or strategy, nothing should be undertaken without a solid plan. Before the IT infrastructure overhaul, plan out each step so everybody knows what needs to be done when it needs to be done, who will oversee each task, and who will be affected by the change.
This will map out for everybody involved exactly what is going to happen, so there will be no nasty surprises and less chance of an interruption to business.
Many companies choose to outsource the IT overhaul to an external service provider , and they should provide a detailed plan of action for you that meets your current and future needs.
Of course, before you start upgrading your IT infrastructure, you need to know exactly what that includes, so an audit of the company’s current IT assets is necessary. Create a detailed inventory of your existing hardware and software that includes version, CPU, memory capacity, when it was purchased, the software installed on it, the expiration date of the warranty, the user, and its purpose.
Once you know what you have and when each asset needs to be upgraded, you can start to put the plan in place.
Again, outsourcing this process to an external IT support team can be a very good idea . They can perform the audit for you to assess your IT infrastructure and advise on priorities, but they can also define your IT roadmap and align it with the overall business strategy, reducing the total cost of ownership and meeting business objectives.
Make a Decision
Once you have a clear picture of what needs to be upgraded as a matter of priority and what fits into the IT budget, you can start to make decisions regarding the extent of the IT infrastructure overhaul.
SMEs and companies with a limited IT budget could choose the temporary solution of upgrading specific components, such as increasing memory, renewing warranties, and adding more processors, hard disks, and networking equipment, as well as replacing individual devices or machines that are clearly ready for the scrapyard.
This enables the business to spread upgrade costs over time and can extend the IT infrastructure lifespan for a couple of years, but it does mean that the business may find itself in a cycle of constantly upgrading.
A better option, if you can afford it, is to replace all of your hardware and buy in the devices and machines that will best suit your business now and in the coming years. This does mean a larger investment up-front, but it is just that – an investment – and barring a tech disaster, should last for half a decade.
You can also use financing to spread the costs over the lifespan of your IT assets, and if you outsource the process, the service provider should be able to bring in cost savings through volume licensing and leasing.
Another option is to consider moving to the cloud , so that your storage, server, and hardware are all connected and hosted online. Apart from the cost savings that come from replacing your traditional server with an online one, and leaving its maintenance with the provider, the advantage of this model is that it enables all users to access your network from anywhere, at any time, from any device, meeting the needs of the modern business.
An IT infrastructure overhaul shouldn’t be a secret or a surprise, so all users within the company need to be informed of the process and know exactly what is changing, and when. Unexpected downtime will impact their ability to get their job done and could cost the business money, so keep them up to date on the upgrades, and put in place a contingency or business continuity plan, should things go awry.
You should also include training for all staff if any of the upgrades mean a change to processes, and this should extend to after the event should it be needed to get everybody up to speed and used to the new system, machinery, or devices.
Act at the Right Time
Putting a temporary halt to business processes to implement the overhaul or upgrades is necessary, but this should be done at a time when nobody is likely to be using them. Make the replacements after business hours or on a weekend, so staff can return to work and start using their new machines or devices immediately as if nothing has happened.
Changes in technology are continuous, and in order to stay ahead of the pack, your business will need to constantly assess whether your IT infrastructure meets your needs as you develop and grow. You should use the information gathered at the planning and audit stage to identify not just how long you can expect your IT assets to last, but also what other technology you can implement to improve efficiency and innovate.
Your IT team should be able to advise on this, but so too can an external IT service provider, who, with their finger on the pulse of the latest IT innovations, can advise on the best IT infrastructure strategy for your business.
The team at Network Doctor can provide the IT support and expertise that your business needs to carry out an infrastructure overhaul seamlessly, from the initial audit to the purchase and implementation of upgrades aligned to your IT roadmap.
Find out more by getting in touch and getting started by booking an audit with us.
Call Network Doctor to disuss how on-premises and cloud systems are used in our Managed IT Services to give your business the reliability, security and scalability to flourish.
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Real-time it infrastructure information system.
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The client had an existing application for organizing the site and infrastructure architectural design along with related information for their client companies. However, they required several improvements in order to maintain a quality service for their growing number of clients. One issue they faced was that their application was not accessible on all mobile devices. The interface was cumbersome and not user-friendly, which created several system hiccups and delays. The collected information needed to be stored back to the database in the form of a PDF for further action. In addition, they needed new administrative features to manage data and user profile information.
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The client sought the assistance of AllianceTek, a software and IT solutions company that specializes in developing custom solutions that meet the unique needs of a business. AllianceTek carefully studied the challenges of the company and listened to their issues and requirements. One requirement was for AllianceTek to redesign the application without altering the existing code or logic. AllianceTek transformed the existing web-based application into a responsive design application and implemented a new design without changing the existing logic or code. The redesigned application has a number of new features that increase control, usability, scalability and business intelligence. It enables users to generate mapping, flooring and architectural layout design, along with related information, in a PDF format that the system automatically archives after a period of time. Users can also share this information through social networks. In addition, a new customized dashboard allows much easier use of the application on all devices, anywhere and anytime, while a scheduler form and internal scheduler feature help manage jobs and historical data related to the jobs with the facility to look up relevant information.
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Urban infrastructure design principles for connected and autonomous vehicles: a case study of Oxford, UK
- Original Paper
- Open access
- Published: 31 October 2023
- volume 3 , Article number: 34 ( 2023 )
You have full access to this open access article
- Huazhen Liu 1 , 2 na1 ,
- Miao Yang 1 , 3 na1 ,
- ChengHe Guan ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5997-418X 1 , 4 na1 ,
- Yi Samuel Chen 5 ,
- Michael Keith 6 ,
- Meizi You 1 &
- Monica Menendez ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-5701-0523 7
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Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) are reshaping urban systems, demanding substantial computational support. While existing research emphasizes the significance of establishing physical and virtual infrastructure to facilitate CAV integration, a comprehensive framework for designing CAV-related infrastructure principles remains largely absent. This paper introduces a holistic framework that addresses gaps in current literature by presenting principles for the design of CAV-related infrastructure. We identify diverse urban infrastructure types crucial for CAVs, each characterized by intricate considerations. Deriving from existing literature, we introduce five principles to guide investments in physical infrastructure, complemented by four principles specific to virtual infrastructure. These principles are expected to evolve with CAV development and associated technology advancements. Furthermore, we exemplify the application of these principles through a case study in Oxford, UK. In doing so, we assess urban conditions, identify representative streets, and craft CAV-related urban infrastructure tailored to distinct street characteristics. This framework stands as a valuable reference for cities worldwide as they prepare for the increasing adoption of CAVs.
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Contemporary transport systems have brought great convenience to the public, but they also bring about many problems, such as road congestion, air pollution, and traffic accidents. To solve these problems, a transition toward autonomous mobility is underway (Hopkins & Schwanen, 2018 ). Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), resulting from the synergy between artificial intelligence, robotics, automotive designs, and information technologies, have the potential to be the most robust intervention in the history of road mobility by enabling the cars to interact with their surrounding environment and make decisions by themselves (Nikitas et al., 2017 ). Not accounting for any changes in demand, the application of CAVs could significantly reduce the frequency of traffic accidents and traffic congestion, as autonomous vehicles will make fewer errors than human drivers and increase the effective road capacity. Parking patterns can also be changed with the arrival of CAVs, as they can self-park in less expensive parking areas (Clements & Kockelman, 2017 ), although that would probably require additional driving distances. In addition, if CAVs become electric, that could mitigate the air pollution caused by automobile exhaust emissions. In the impending automated mobility era, CAVs will dramatically change the landscape of cities, the regulatory environment for transportation, and the operating modes of society.
Therefore, to successfully promote the use of CAVs, a number of different fields, including transportation infrastructure, policy and legislation, technology and innovation, and consumer acceptance, have to be well prepared. In this paper, we focus on infrastructure. On the one hand, CAVs need to be integrated into the existing transport network by improving the current infrastructure. On the other hand, new infrastructure must be designed and deployed to satisfy the unique requirements of CAVs. Thus, a framework including the fundamental CAV-related infrastructure design principles is necessary to guide urban planning in the next decades. In this study, we develop such a framework integrating different aspects sparsely addressed in the existing literature. We compile and combine a number of principles covering different aspects of CAV infrastructure, to provide unified guidelines for the planning, design, deployment, and evaluation of such infrastructure. In addition, we illustrate how to apply these principles to a specific city by conducting a case study in Oxford, UK. We hope the proposed design scheme can provide some references for the development of future automated transportation systems in Oxford and other cities around the world.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 presents a literature review of different infrastructure related studies within the context of CAVs. Section 3 introduces a new framework to plan, design, deploy, and evaluate infrastructure-related investments, based on the fundamental design principles associated with CAV-infrastructure. Section 4 illustrates such framework using the city of Oxford as a case study. Section 5 discusses the main insights from this application. Section 6 offers some concluding remarks and discusses the implications of the study.
2 Literature review
Infrastructure related to the operation of CAVs includes both physical and virtual aspects (Liu et al., 2019 ). Below, we discuss each of them separately. We then discuss some additional literature related to the design of such infrastructure.
2.1 Physical infrastructure for CAVs
Previous studies have classified CAV-related physical infrastructure into five subcategories, namely: traffic signs and road markings, road network, parking facilities, safe harbors, and charging facilities, as listed in Table 1 . This article delves into the primary advantages and disadvantages affiliated with each of these categories concerning CAVs. The ensuing discussion takes into account the limitations of existing configurations, while also weighing the advantages and potential concerns posed by prospective restructured patterns.
2.1.1 Traffic signs and road markings
Traffic signs and road markings are foundational components for upholding the efficient and secure flow of traffic (Babić et al., 2022 ; Babić & Brijs, 2021 ; Burghardt et al., 2020 ). These elements offer a direct and cost-effective mechanism for ensuring the systematic operation of road networks. They serve as indispensable instruments for conveying vital road-related information to both drivers and pedestrians, facilitating unambiguous communication about road conditions and the surrounding environment. Notably, prominently visible traffic signs and road markings play a critical role in guiding CAVs during navigation, positioning, and parking activities. It is essential that the visibility of these elements meets the criteria of both CAVs and human drivers, accounting for daytime contrast and nighttime retro-reflectivity (Burghardt et al., 2021 ).
Presently, road markings and signs are primarily designed with human drivers in mind. However, scenarios that may pose minimal challenges for human drivers could potentially befuddle CAVs. For instance, the presence of a combination of old and newly painted stripes might not be as clearly interpreted by CAVs. To address this, efforts are underway to devise road markings and signs better suited for CAVs, encompassing considerations such as striping, visibility, and material composition (Singh & Islam, 2020 ; Burghardt et al., 2021 ; Moreno-Navarro et al., 2019 ). To ensure seamless interpretation by CAVs, a set of comprehensive standards should be established and widely implemented for the design and deployment of optimal road markings and signs. Additionally, stakeholders must consistently assess and maintain these road markings and signs to guarantee their functionality, particularly concerning CAVs (Xu et al., 2021 ).
2.1.2 Road network
There are two main ways to incorporate CAVs into the traffic road network. The first is an independent right-of-way model, which means setting up dedicated lanes for CAVs. The second is a mixed right-of-way model, in which CAVs are mixed with conventional vehicles on original roads. With the independent right-of-way model, CAVs can operate more safely and efficiently, minimizing the interactions with human-driven vehicles. The width of the lane can be reduced compared to existing lanes, as CAVs can track and stick to their road lanes more effectively than humans. In fact, CAVs’ wheels are hardly expected to wander laterally unless malfunctioning (Zhou et al., 2019 ). In addition, CAVs can increase the capacity of roads due to shorter headways and faster reaction times (Lu et al., 2020 ). As penetration rate increases, this could then lead to a reduction in the necessary number of lanes to move the same number of vehicles. The saved road space can then be allocated to other more sustainable transport modes, such as pedestrians or cyclists, encouraging more people to walk or bike (Mead et al., 2014 ; Menendez & Ambühl, 2022 ). The disadvantages of this independent right-of-way model include, taking up limited road resources especially when the low CAV penetration rates do not fill the dedicated lanes, potentially increasing congestion in the other lanes if some are taken away, and causing confusions to traffic users. In contrast, the mixed right-of-way model should not cause significant impact on current road users as the traffic network could be kept pretty much the same. However, it may hinder the benefits CAVs bring on traffic performance, such as increased road capacity and saved road space. Li et al. ( 2020 ) found that appropriate road-of-way reallocation strategies can further increase road capacity compared to mixed strategies, although this depends on the penetration rates and overall demand. For instance, Ye and Yamamoto ( 2018 ) demonstrated that the benefit of setting dedicated lanes for CAVs can only be obtained when the vehicle density is medium.
2.1.3 Parking facilities
As the penetration rate of CAVs increases, the demand for very centric and expensive parking areas can be reduced. CAVs can drive themselves to less expensive parking areas farther away (Millard-Ball, 2019 ). However, this could contribute to a higher vehicle-distance driven, with empty vehicles driving all over the network and potentially increasing congestion. (Zhao et al., 2021 ) presented a centralized parking dispatch approach to guide floating autonomous vehicles to find optimal parking lots. Those can be built and operated away from the city center by adjusting parking fees (Levin et al., 2020 ). Several studies have been conducted to explore the design and management of CAV parking lots (Liu, 2018 ; Nourinejad et al., 2018 ; Wang et al., 2021 ). The saved space in central areas could then be reused for residential or commercial purposes. In addition, banning on-street parking would leave more space for pedestrians and cyclists (Jakob & Menendez, 2019 ), which would again, encourage more sustainable mobility practices (Guan and Forsyth, 2020 ; Guan et al., 2020 ). Special zones can allow CAVs to pick up and drop off their passengers without interrupting traffic flow. Some on-street spaces can be converted into safe harbors.
2.1.4 Safe harbors
Safe harbor areas are essential for incorporating CAVs into the transportation system. When CAVs cannot operate safely in the surrounding environment or meet any malfunctioning, simply stopping on the road will interrupt the traffic flow, leading to a series of traffic accidents. It is important then for CAVs to have specific areas where they can wait for rescue when needed. Safe harbors have been listed as required infrastructure to accommodate CAVs by several researchers and organizations (Liu et al., 2019 ; NASEM, 2015 ). The design of such places is still under research. Khan et al. ( 2022 ) pointed out that CAVs should have priority in using safe harbors. In addition, these safe harbors must be documented and mapped so that CAVs can identify and navigate to these areas automatically (Othman, 2021 ).
2.1.5 Charging facilities
With the expectation that most CAVs (if not all) will be powered by electricity, charging facilities are one of the most crucial pieces of physical infrastructure needed (Chen et al., 2023 ). Charging stations could provide charge through a cable, or potentially the ability to swap batteries (Das et al., 2020 ; Sachan et al., 2020 ). A more ambitious idea to meet the charging demand of electric vehicles is to develop wireless charging. This could happen in a stationary or a dynamic manner (Soares & Wang, 2022 ; Chen et al., 2017 ). The stationary charging is achieved by vehicles stopping on a charging pad placed on a parking space. The dynamic charging is achieved by driving on a road with an embedded charging module. Dynamic charging could significantly solve driving range anxiety issues and save users’ time (Duarte et al., 2021 ; Tan et al., 2022 ). This technology has been prioritized worldwide, especially in the United Kingdom (UK), Germany and South Korea (Machura & Li, 2019 ).
2.2 Virtual infrastructure for CAVs
Similar to the categorization of physical infrastructure, past research has classified CAV-related virtual infrastructure into four subcategories: intelligent transport systems, digital networks, vehicular clouds, and traffic control, as also outlined in Table 1 . The following section provides an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages associated with these virtual infrastructure components.
2.2.1 Intelligent transport systems
In terms of virtual infrastructure, the smooth operation of CAVs partly depends on the communications between vehicles, infrastructure, and people. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) can help achieve these intercommunications. ITS is the synergy of sensors, analyzers, controllers and communication systems, which can improve safety and efficiency of all components in the transport system, including vehicles, pedestrians, and infrastructure (John et al., 2019 ; El Hamdani et al., 2020 ). The applications of ITS include, but are not limited to, responding promptly to traffic incidents, guiding vehicles to empty parking spaces, and adjusting speed limits and signal timings based on real-time conditions (Muthuramalingam et al., 2019 ). ITS can be further improved by leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), wherein a large number of physical devices are connected to the Internet through the aid of new sensors, computing, and networking technologies (Bello & Zeadally, 2019 ). The Internet of Everything (IoE) is the advanced development of IoT, connecting heterogeneous things, process, data, and people (Miraz et al., 2015 ).
2.2.2 Digital networks
The massive number of connected devices and huge amount of data within the ITS require the support of stable and high-speed digital networks. 5G (the fifth generation of mobile technology) will play an important role in guaranteeing the fast interconnections and security within ITS (Storck & Duarte-Figueiredo, 2020 ). Compared to 4G, 5G will support 10–100 times higher data rates and number of connected devices (Gohar & Nencioni, 2021 ). It will ensure continuity, lower latency, and ubiquity of the network (Guevara & Auat Cheein, 2020 ). 5G is under development in many countries around the world, with China, South Korea, the United States (US), some countries in Europe and many others vying for the leadership (Oughton & Russell, 2020 ). In addition, a more advanced wireless communication, the six-generation system (6G), is expected to be implemented around 2030 (Chowdhury et al., 2020 ; Oinas-Kukkonen et al., 2021 ). Ubiquitous Wi-Fi is also useful in the operation of ITS (Adegoke et al., 2019 ). Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) is a Wi-Fi derivative technology used to meet specialized requirements for secure, low latency, and communications. For instance, DSRC with 75 MHz of wireless spectrum (5.850–5.925 GHz) is allocated to support ITS in the US (USDOT, 2015 ).
2.2.3 Vehicular clouds
As an emerging technology, vehicular cloud computing stands out as a promising solution for sustaining and advancing ITS. This innovative approach involves the pooling of vehicles’ resources, encompassing internet connectivity, storage, and computational capabilities, to create a shared cloud environment (Ahmad et al., 2017 ; Lin et al., 2018 ). Such a vehicular cloud possesses the potential to address various aspects of the traffic ecosystem. Initial applications encompass the management of parking facilities, with possibilities of converting parking lots, airports, and shopping malls into functional data centers. This technology can be further developed to optimize traffic signals, implement dynamic traffic management strategies, alleviate recurring congestion issues, and facilitate effective evacuation procedures (Whaiduzzaman et al., 2014 ; Boukerche & De Grande, 2018 ; Kang et al., 2015 ).
However, the implementation of vehicular clouds presents a challenge in the form of the dynamic nature of the cloud’s composition. Vehicles within a micro vehicular cloud continuously join and leave the network, posing a requirement for an adept handling of resource fluctuations (Coutinho & Boukerche, 2019 ). A mature vehicular cloud must effectively manage these shifts in resource availability without disrupting ongoing tasks and operations.
2.2.4 Traffic control
Traffic management is essential to maintain smooth and efficient traffic flow, especially over crossings and junctions. Intersections under the control of signals will be easier to deal with for CAVs than those without. Traffic signals can also assure the safety of pedestrians when they cross intersections. At the initial stages of CAVs penetration, pedestrians’ sense of comfort may be challenged out of trust issues towards the new technology, especially when they cross unsignalized intersections, as they won’t be able to communicate as they do with human drivers through eye contact, multiple facial expressions, and hand gestures (Deb et al., 2018 ). Thus, traffic signals should initially be established over intersections with no existing signal, so that CAVs can safely interact with pedestrians (Yin et al., 2021 ). In addition, signal timings should be properly set to avoid unnecessary delays and energy consumption. Information from CAVs could be used to develop more complex traffic management strategies that optimize traffic performance both at the intersection level and throughout the network (Yang et al., 2018 ). The introduction of CAVs would also enable signal timings and phase plans to adapt to current traffic conditions, thereby increasing the efficiency of intersections, and/or providing additional priority to more sustainable modes such as public transport (Yang et al., 2019a ; Yang et al., 2019b ). CAVs can also change their speed and acceleration rates according to signal timing to avoid waiting at intersections (Yang et al., 2016 ; Guo et al., 2019 ; Yu et al., 2019 ; Niroumand et al., 2020 ; Liang et al., 2019 ; Qi et al., 2020 ). A more ambitious idea is to develop signal-head-free intersections, where CAVs cross the intersections smoothly by cooperating with other CAVs and the infrastructure (Mirheli et al., 2018 ). However, this approach can only be achieved in a fully CAV environment, and can still be problematic for pedestrians.
While we initially present physical and virtual infrastructures as distinct components, it’s essential to underscore that these infrastructures are intricately interconnected, collaborating to ensure the seamless, secure, and efficient functioning of urban transportation systems. The operational efficacy of physical infrastructure for CAVs hinges on the presence of corresponding virtual infrastructure. To illustrate, CAVs leverage Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to identify suitable parking areas and charging stations. Simultaneously, data regarding the status of physical infrastructure can be fed into ITS and traffic control systems to optimize CAV operations within the urban traffic ecosystem. This holistic network operates through the transfer, storage, and analysis of substantial data volumes encompassing infrastructures and road users. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this integrated system, reliant on extensive data and digital networks, is susceptible to privacy breaches and cybersecurity threats, as highlighted by Nikitas et al. ( 2022 ). Cyberattacks can potentially compromise not only the virtual infrastructure but also have cascading effects on the utilization of physical infrastructure.
2.3 Designing CAV-related urban infrastructure
The assessment of existing and newly developed urban infrastructure for compatibility with CAVs has been widely conducted through real-world trials across various global locations (Dowling & McGuirk, 2022 ). A prime example is Beijing, China, where approximately 278 roads spanning 6 districts with a total length of 1,028 km have been designated for CAV testing, encompassing urban, rural, and highway settings ( http://www.mzone.site/index.php/indexen/index.html ). These trials encompass various infrastructure components such as traffic signs and road markings, mixed right-of-way models, Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) systems, digital networks, and traffic control. Moreover, specific simulated environments have been established for CAV testing, including locations like Chang’an University in China, Mcity in Michigan, and GoMentum in California ( https://gomentumstation.net/av-testing-services/ ), which also evaluate infrastructure aspects like traffic signs, road markings, mixed right-of-way models, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), and V2X systems, digital networks, and traffic control (Yang et al., 2021 ).
Large-scale collaborative projects have also emerged as avenues for infrastructure enhancement, involving stakeholders from various sectors. In the UK, numerous projects funded by the government have engaged over 200 participants from automotive manufacturers, research institutions, universities, and tech enterprises since 2014. Initiatives like GATEway ( https://trl.co.uk/projects/gateway-project/ ), VENTURER ( https://www.venturer-cars.com/ ), and FLOURISH ( http://www.flourishmobility.com/about-flourish ) prioritize the interaction between CAVs and roadside infrastructure. These endeavors primarily aim to determine the integration potential of CAVs within the existing transport network, hence focusing on essential infrastructure components such as traffic signs, road markings, V2X systems, digital networks, and traffic control. Notably, certain vital elements like safe harbors and advanced structures like vehicular clouds remain largely unexplored in these trials. Nevertheless, the data and driving patterns garnered from these trials hold potential for optimizing present road infrastructure and formulating more sophisticated infrastructure solutions. Generally, the assessment of optimized or novel infrastructure is carried out through meticulous experiment design (Laporte et al., 2019 ; Levy & Haddad, 2022 ; Labi et al., 2023 ).
While the quantity of studies related to CAV-supporting infrastructure design has surged, a limited number of them delve into the integration and deployment of these infrastructure components within specific cities. For instance, (Manivasakan et al., 2021 ) presented a conceptual road network design for Melbourne, Australia, considering road facilities, signage and markings, parking and service stations, operational management, communication networks, and maintenance considerations. The array of infrastructure required by CAVs exhibits diversity, each carrying multiple variables that demand attention. Without a comprehensive design framework, urban planning efforts could lack organization, consume time inefficiently, and potentially overlook critical details (Guan et al., 2023 ). Consequently, the establishment of universally applicable CAV-related infrastructure design principles holds paramount importance when preparing cities for the integration of CAVs. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to adapt these principles to match the distinctive characteristics of individual cities. Our paper aims to furnish a CAV-related infrastructure design framework and subsequently apply it to the context of Oxford.
3 Design principles for CAV-related urban infrastructure
The foundational design principles for CAV-related infrastructure in future scenarios draw upon widely accepted standards from existing literature (Barnes & Swan, 2018 ; Dowling & McGuirk, 2022 ; Mitteregger et al., 2021 ; Liu et al., 2019 ). We have organized these principles into physical and virtual infrastructure for two distinct phases (Jia et al., 2021 ), as outlined in Table 2 . We have maintained a consistent sub-category structure with the previous section. For instance, the physical infrastructure is divided into five key principles: traffic signs and road markings, road network, parking facilities, safe harbors, and charging facilities. To provide further clarity, each subcategory encompasses crucial principles as identified in existing literature. As an example, the principle related to traffic signs and road markings (P1) encompasses activities such as updating traffic signs (Babić & Brijs, 2021 ; Babić et al., 2022 ), maintaining road markings (Burghardt et al., 2020 ; Xu et al., 2021 ), and establishing unified standards and signals for various users (Singh & Islam, 2020 ; Burghardt et al., 2021 ; Moreno-Navarro et al., 2019 ).
We have partitioned future scenarios into two distinct phases due to variations in the requirements for CAV-related infrastructure, which are contingent on CAV automation levels and CAV penetration rates (Jia et al., 2021 ; Mitteregger et al., 2021 ). Automation levels span from 0 to 5 (SAE International, 2019 ), with level 5 denoting fully autonomous vehicles. High/full driving automation necessitates more stringent requirements for certain CAV-related infrastructure while enabling smarter utilization of others compared to partial driving automation. Additionally, the CAV penetration rate represents a critical factor influencing the design of CAV-related infrastructure. The allocation of resources for CAVs must accommodate the current volume of CAVs and anticipate the projected short-term growth. Nevertheless, allocating excessive resources to CAVs can lead to resource wastage and inconvenience for traditional vehicles. Consequently, resource allocation for transportation relies heavily on both the current and accurately projected CAV penetration rates.
The first phase characterizes a traffic composition scenario where partial driving automation predominates among CAV types, and CAV penetration rates remain low. The second phase reflects a scenario in which high/full driving automation dominates the CAV market. However, it’s important to note that achieving the second phase doesn’t necessarily imply the complete replacement of human-driven vehicles or lower automation CAVs, as this process may be protracted (unless regulations expedite it). In this phase, CAV penetration rates are high, exceeding 50%. It’s worth highlighting that there is no strict demarcation line between these two phases, and effective urban planning can facilitate a seamless transition from phase 1 to phase 2.
3.1 Design principles for the first phase
During the initial phase, a focused set of design principles is proposed to facilitate the integration of CAVs while considering both their operational needs and the existing urban environment.
To ensure effective communication with both CAVs and human drivers, the renovation of current traffic signs and road markings is imperative. Existing designs, tailored for human perception, should be reevaluated to address potential confusion for CAVs. High visibility, essential for CAV recognition, demands frequent maintenance. New signs and markings introduced in this phase should also be conceived with a forward-looking perspective to remain pertinent in the subsequent phase, aiding sustainability. Given the anticipated low penetration rate of CAVs, preserving the current road networks is recommended for the first phase. Dedicated lanes for CAVs could lead to resource inefficiency and congestion in other lanes.
Basic automation of CAVs characterizes this phase, with drivers prepared to assume complex driving tasks. Integration of CAV parking into existing lots and the addition of EV charging stations are advised. Safe harbors become crucial even with driver presence in CAVs. These serve as waiting zones for driver intervention or as locations for rescue during breakdowns. Charging facilities, additional batteries, and charging points should be strategically situated at bus stops, pick-up & drop-off zones, and safe harbors.
Leveraging advancing technology and digital networks, ITS can be bolstered to enable seamless communication between vehicles and infrastructure. The maturation of the 4G data platform and widespread availability of 5G, along with the allocation of DSRC, will contribute to enhanced connectivity. This robust network is pivotal to ensuring safe, efficient urban transportation. Vehicular resources can be harnessed for parking and traffic management, or even utilized as computing centers. Given the significance of traffic management for CAVs, traffic signals are recommended at all junctions and crossings. These facilitate the smooth functioning of CAVs and uphold pedestrian safety.
3.2 Design principles for the second phase
In the second phase, CAVs are anticipated to possess a higher degree of automation, and the prospect of fully driverless vehicles becomes feasible. This phase necessitates more stringent road sign requirements, prompting the development of standardized and systematic road signage. Particularly crucial are signs that alert CAVs to potential hazards ahead (such as ongoing road maintenance), although such information can also be conveyed via V2X communication channels.
The determination of right-of-way configurations hinges upon the penetration rate of CAVs and vehicle density. In instances of high CAV penetration and density, the establishment of dedicated lanes for CAVs becomes a strategic choice. This facilitates a reduction in lane width and count in these dedicated lanes, subsequently creating more space for pedestrians and cyclists. Additionally, repurposing on-street parking zones for alternative uses can enhance comfort and safety for pedestrians and cyclists, aligning with a human-centric urban design philosophy (Riggs et al., 2020 ; Srinivasan et al., 2020 ).
The parking paradigm shifts in the second phase, requiring the creation of CAV-only parking lots, either in new areas or integrated into existing parking zones. The capacity of these lots can be maximized through closer parking enabled by CAVs’ self-parking capabilities. Given the absence of drivers, safe harbors assume enhanced importance to avert severe traffic incidents. Incorporating automatic alarms for emergency centers in safe harbors becomes necessary, given the potential lack of a driver to trigger emergency responses.
With wireless charging technology maturing, the charging landscape is expected to improve significantly. Charging pads in parking areas could save space compared to traditional charging piles. The feasibility of constructing electrified roads should be explored where environmental conditions allow. The second phase anticipates the utilization of further developed ITS, facilitating interconnectedness among people, processes, data, and components within the urban transport framework. A predominance of 5G and 5G+ digital networks is projected, delivering robust support for the traffic system. The expansion of vehicular cloud concepts offers potential for dynamic and personalized traffic management enhancements.
Advanced traffic signal timing optimization based on real-time conditions becomes achievable in this phase. This optimization proves pivotal in alleviating frequent traffic congestion, curtailing unnecessary delays, and mitigating energy consumption.
The transition from the first to the second phase hinges on CAV development levels and penetration rates. To maximize cost-effectiveness and environmental efficiency, adjusting existing infrastructure from the first phase is recommended, given the lower CAV development level and penetration rate. In cases where new infrastructure is necessary (due to replacement or urban growth), these designs must account for the anticipated future CAV development and penetration. Ideally, new infrastructure should align with high-level CAV requirements or at least allow for future renovation and upgrading, considering the long-term durability of traffic infrastructure. Forethought should also be given to new parking and charging facilities, factoring in future CAV distribution. This approach leverages first-phase investments as a foundation, avoiding the abandonment of functional infrastructure that doesn’t meet high-level CAV demands.
4 Case study
In order to illustrate the design principles discussed in the previous section, here we use a case study based on the city of Oxford. Oxford is an attractive and cosmopolitan city in the UK (Oxfordshire City Council, 2016 ). Its increasing population is adding pressure to the city’s existing transport system. Cars and buses have to compete for limited space with pedestrians and cyclists. To alleviate the current situation, the Oxford City Council has been working to explore new models for transport system development. CAVs, especially shared CAVs, combined with walking and cycling, will be a much more suitable and sustainable transport mode for Oxford in the future. To prepare the city for this, we are proposing new CAV-related infrastructure on four typical streets located in commercial, historical, and residential areas.
4.1 Oxford: an overview of the city
Situated in Southeast UK, Oxford is one of the five local authority districts within Oxfordshire county (Fig. 1 ). While encompassing a densely developed urban region, approximately 52% of the city consists of open spaces, though our study focuses primarily on the urban area. Renowned for its prestigious university heritage, Oxford boasts a variety of attractions beyond academia. In 2016, tourism contributed €832 million to the local economy, underscoring the significance of safeguarding historical structures and catering to the transportation needs of tourists.
The study area of the city of Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK. The left image shows the administrative area of Oxfordshire and its location in the UK. The five administrative districts are Oxford City, Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, and West Oxfordshire. The right image shows the city of Oxford. Source: Esri Map
Concerning the current state of traffic infrastructure, a plethora of damaged road signs and unclear road markings have been reported to the county council. Oxford has also established over 100 charging points, positioning it favorably for the transition to electric vehicles. While comprehensive 4G and 4G+ digital coverage extends across most areas, a stable and robust 4G network isn’t uniform throughout the road network.
Guided by the Oxford City Council Local Plan, infrastructure enhancements are envisioned to elevate the allure of walking and cycling, paralleled by controlled parking zone expansion. These zones permit parking solely within designated bays while restricting roadside parking. Concurrently, the government endeavors to double the capacity of Park & Ride stations, fostering public transport and steering toward a zero-emission zone. Emission-based charges would be levied on vehicles within these zones, with zero-emission vehicles exempt from fees. Substantial government investments target congestion alleviation, road safety enhancement, and improved road infrastructure.
4.2 Fundamental planning guidelines for Oxford
Taking into account the existing CAV technology and Oxford’s distinct characteristics, we present essential planning guidelines for CAV-related infrastructure in the city.
Historic-friendly design: Oxford’s rich historical heritage, particularly concentrated in the city center, necessitates a design approach that harmonizes with its cultural legacy. Preserving the city’s original appearance is paramount, with minor and discreet adaptations to existing infrastructure. Any new CAV-related additions must seamlessly blend in, ensuring they do not compromise the ornamental essence of the historical cityscape. Even outside conservation areas, integration within the existing infrastructure system remains the preferred and resource-efficient approach (Löfgren et al., 2018 ).
Promotion of environmentally friendly travel: Transport holds a significant share of negative environmental impacts (Thøgersen, 2018 ). The emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles, including carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, pose severe consequences for air quality, climate change, health, and historical building preservation. Encouraging sustainable, low-carbon travel modes such as walking, cycling, shared and public transport, along with curbing heavily polluting vehicles, is crucial to mitigate these impacts (Agarwal et al., 2020 ). The expansion of controlled parking zones aligns with this objective, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to access increased road space while reducing the preference for private vehicles.
Consideration of CAVs in planning: While controlled parking zones may discourage private vehicle usage, CAVs remain unaffected due to their autonomy in parking (Chee & Fernandez, 2013 ). The inherent capability of CAVs to self-navigate after passenger drop-off ensures their mobility is unhindered by parking limitations.
Trials for separated lanes: Dedicated infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles has been shown to significantly reduce traffic accidents (Marshall & Ferenchak, 2019 ). Conducting trials for segregated lanes on select streets can provide valuable insights into the feasibility and efficacy of such a setup. These trials will help determine whether separated lanes can be practically implemented to enhance safety and convenience for different road users.
These guidelines, grounded in Oxford’s historical essence and urban objectives, inform the forthcoming integration of CAV-related infrastructure. They underline the importance of preserving heritage, prioritizing sustainable transport, and considering the unique attributes of CAVs in city planning.
4.3 Selection of typical streets
Urban streets can be classified by traffic features (e.g., the function (link or access) and traffic volume of the street), urban characteristics (e.g., surrounding land usage), and road characteristics (e.g., streets’ cross section and surface materials) (Soteropoulos et al., 2020 ). In this study, we differentiated streets according to the land use function along the street. Such function has been identified using POI (Point of Interest) data (details shown in Supplement ). POI data include all geographic entities that can be abstracted as points, such as restaurants, banks, hotels, and universities (Hu & Han, 2019 ).
The original POI types in Oxford included a wide range of categories, including accommodation, automotive, business, education, food, health, public service, religious, settlement, shop, sports, tourism, transport, and other land use. To streamline our analysis, we reclassified these POI data into three primary categories: economy entities, non-economy entities, and residential communities. Economy entities comprise accommodation, business, food, shop, and sports. Non-economy entities encompass automotive, education, health, public service, and religious establishments. Residential communities pertain to the settlement-type POI data. For the purposes of our study, we did not consider tourism, transport, and other land use-type POI data. The distribution of the reclassified POI data is illustrated in Fig. 2 .
The distribution of POI data in Oxford. The red dots represent economy entities. The green dots represent non-economy entities. The blue dots represent residential communities
Based on the surrounding land use function, we selected four representative streets in Oxford: (1) High St: This street features a mix of both economy and non-economy entities along its stretch; (2) Merton St: Here, non-economy entities dominate the street’s surroundings; (3) Thames St: Near this street, economy entities are prevalent; (4) Canal St: Situated within a residential community, Canal St exhibits a different set of characteristics and CAV-related infrastructure requirements.
These four streets possess unique features and infrastructure needs, which in turn lead to distinct design principles and outcomes. However, they all share common overarching requirements and adhere to the fundamental planning guidelines discussed in the preceding section. We provide further elaboration on each of these streets below.
4.3.1 High St
High St is a main street across the city center, with many economy and non-economy entities on both sides. The street also has many historical buildings, including some from the University of Oxford. There are many bus lines and a large flow of pedestrians and cyclists. On-street parking is allowed. The current conditions of this street are shown in Fig. 3 a-c. Figure 3 a is somewhere in the middle of this street. Figure 3 b and c show the two ends of this street, a crossing and a Y-junction, respectively. We find that the current lane markings and traffic signs are not clear. It is especially difficult to identify the signs due to variable natural light. In addition, there are no sufficient traffic signals over the crossing at the ends of this street.
(a-c) Current status of High Street. (a1-c1) Design proposals of the first phase, and (a2-c2) for the second phase. (a11-c11) Corresponding axonometries of (a1-c1). (a22-c22) Corresponding axonometries of (a2-c2). The street views were obtained from Google Maps
4.3.2 Merton St
Merton Street is a historic and picturesque cobbled street adjacent to High Street, with low traffic and no bus line. There are a lot of colleges around this street. On-street parking is allowed, and the street also offers access to a small parking lot. The current conditions of this street are shown in Fig. 4 a-c. Figure 4 a is somewhere in the middle of this street. Figure 4 b and c are the two ends of this street, a T-junction and a corner, respectively. Road boundaries and public parking spaces on the roadside are not always clear.
(a-c) Current status of Merton Street. (a1-c1) Design proposals of the first phase, and (a2-c2) for the second phase. (a11-c11) Corresponding axonometries of (a1-c1). (a22-c22) Corresponding axonometries of (a2-c2). The street views were obtained from Google Maps
4.3.3 Thames St
Thames St is located near Westgate, a great shopping center in Oxford. Through field study, we found that it has had separated lanes already, but the lane markings are not clear enough. This street has access to a large parking lot; however, the parking spaces are not used efficiently. The current conditions of this street are shown in Fig. 5 a-c. Figure 5 a is somewhere in the middle of this street. Figure 5 b and c are the two ends of this street.
(a-c) Current status of Thames Street. (a1-c1) Design proposals of the first phase, and (a2-c2) for the second phase. (a11-c11) Corresponding axonometries of (a1-c1). (a22-c22) Corresponding axonometries of (a2-c2). The street views were obtained from Google Maps
4.3.4 Canal St
Canal St is located in a residential area and it is away from the city center. Jericho Community Center is located on this Street. It has one separated lane for parking, but there are no traffic signals nor buses along this street. Some Park & Ride areas are near this street. The current conditions of this street are shown in Fig. 6 a-c. Figure 6 a is somewhere in the middle of this street. Figure 6 b is a crossing located on this street. Figure 6 c is one of the two ends of this street, a complex intersection.
(a-c) Current status of Canal Street. (a1-c1) Design proposals of the first phase, and (a2-c2) for the second phase. (a11-c11) Corresponding axonometries of (a1-c1). (a22-c22) Corresponding axonometries of (a2-c2). The street views were obtained from Google Maps
4.4 Deployment of CAV-related urban infrastructure on selected streets
In this section, we present our proposal for the deployment of CAV-related urban infrastructure across the four chosen streets during each of the two phases.
4.4.1 Phase 1
In alignment with Principles P1-P5 (Physical Infrastructure), as detailed in Table 2 , our phase 1 deployment entails:
(1) Enhancement of signs and markings: Improving visibility for CAVs through lane restriping, upgraded traffic signs, and regular maintenance. Adhering to city council standards for sign and marking design is imperative. Material selection should consider both current CAV penetration rates and anticipated future traffic flows. (2) Retention of road network: Given the relatively modest CAV penetration rate, maintaining the current road network is recommended. Establishing dedicated CAV lanes could lead to resource waste and congestion in other lanes. (3) Sustainable parking provision: Upholding existing on-street parking provisions while adhering to city council regulations for allowable parking areas. (4) Safe harbors and pick-up/drop-off Locations: Designating spaces for safe harbors and convenient pick-up/drop-off zones requires meticulous analysis of factors such as traffic flow, land use, and public preferences. The locations must be strategically chosen based on thorough research. (5) Charging infrastructure: Installing charging piles and preparing alternative batteries in key areas such as bus stops (High St and Thames St), parking zones (Merton St and Canal St), safe harbors, and pick-up/drop-off locations. The historical aesthetics of the environment, particularly on streets like Merton St, must be considered in the design of charging facilities.
Complying with Principles V1-V2 (Virtual Infrastructure), all infrastructure should possess internet connectivity. Principle V4 advocates for the addition of more traffic signals at crossings, enhancing CAV introduction, and ensuring overall road user safety and comfort. Precise signal phase and timing configurations necessitate careful consideration, informed by thorough research into street-specific traffic conditions.
The schematics for phase 1 deployment are illustrated in Fig. 3 (a1-c1) for High St, Fig. 4 (a1-c1) for Merton St, Fig. 5 (a1-c1) for Thames St, and Fig. 6 (a1-c1) for Canal St. Sub-figures (a1-c1) correspond to the same sections as sub-figures (a-c) for each respective street, while sub-figures (a11-c11) provide the corresponding axonometric views of sub-figures (a1-c1).
4.4.2 Phase 2
In the second phase, we align with Principles P1-P5 to present our deployment strategy:
(1) Standardized lanes and signs: Implement unified regional or country standards for CAV-adapted traffic signs and markings, and ensure their regular maintenance. We anticipate the availability of standardized guidelines for CAV-suitable signage and markings. (2) Access restriction and dedicated lanes: Retain the current road network, potentially reserving certain streets exclusively for CAV access. Canal St, given its surroundings and road material, is a strong candidate for dedicated CAV lanes. However, any implementation of separated lanes should involve public engagement, informing them of the pros and cons. (3) Parking reallocation: Eliminate on-street parking (High St, Thames St, and Canal St) to allocate space for pedestrians and cyclists. Merton St can retain on-street parking, with more designated as disabled spaces. In Canal St’s parking lot, spaces dedicated to CAVs should be designated. (4) Continued safe harbors and pick-up/drop-off areas: Maintain the safe harbors and pick-up & drop-off points established in Phase 1, enhancing safe harbors with automatic alarms for situations without a driver present. (5) Charging infrastructure enhancement: Introduce charging pads over bus stops (High St and Thames St), off-street parking (Merton St and Canal St), on-street parking (Merton St), safe harbors, and pick-up & drop-off zones. Canal St remains a strong candidate for dynamic charging through electrification due to its attributes.
Incorporating Principles V1-V4 (Virtual Infrastructure), the advanced ITS technologies, digital networks, and vehicular clouds facilitate dynamic traffic management. This enables adaptable signal phase and timing adjustments in real-time to minimize delays and energy.
The schematics for the second phase are shown in Fig. 3 (a2-c2) for High St, Fig. 4 (a2-c2) for Merton St, Fig. 5 (a2-c2) for Thames St, and Fig. 6 (a2-c2) for Canal St. In all cases, sub-figures (a2-c2), correspond to the same passages shown in sub-figures (a-c) for that specific street; and sub-figures (a22-c22) show the corresponding axonometries of sub-figures (a2-c2).
We have presented an extensive framework of design principles for CAV-related infrastructure, meticulously addressing a multitude of essential factors in their deployment. This comprehensive framework offers invaluable guidance to city planners as they prepare their urban areas for the integration of CAVs in an efficient and systematic manner. However, the practical implementation of these principles in the real world poses notable challenges. As city planners embark on creating new traffic infrastructures, they must account for an intricate web of factors. These factors encompass present traffic patterns, road conditions, environmental contexts, public preferences, and extend to the future’s evolving technology, economic landscape, and societal desires. Achieving sustainable development requires a harmonious balance of all these aspects.
Predicting the future is a complex and risky endeavor. For instance, in anticipation of high CAV penetration rates, planners might opt for new out-of-city-center parking lots optimized for CAVs. However, if the actual penetration rate falls below expectations, this strategy could result in resource wastage and traditional vehicles struggling to secure parking spots. The inherent uncertainty makes the endeavor of future-oriented planning all the more challenging. In essence, traffic planning in the context of CAVs is a multifaceted undertaking. It demands the harmonious fusion of current realities, future aspirations, technological advancements, economic dynamics, and public sentiments. Successful navigation of these complexities requires strategic foresight, adaptable planning, and a willingness to recalibrate approaches as conditions evolve. By embracing this complexity, cities can pave the way toward a sustainable and seamlessly integrated future for connected and autonomous vehicles.
This paper introduces a comprehensive framework of CAV-related infrastructure design principles, addressing a multitude of often-overlooked aspects that are crucial for effective planning, deployment, and evaluation. This framework offers unified guidelines for cities as they prepare to integrate an increasing number of CAVs into their urban landscapes. The case study of Oxford exemplifies the application of these principles in a real-world context, showcasing their practical relevance.
Urban planning is inherently forward-looking, requiring a balanced consideration of both immediate needs and long-term goals. Yet, the planning and development across different time periods are interwoven. If current infrastructure aligns with future development needs, retrofitting demands might remain minimal and cost-effective. However, the alternative could entail elevated costs as existing facilities are torn down to make way for new ones, particularly in capital-intensive sectors like transportation. Hence, it’s imperative to design and construct facilities with a future-oriented perspective that accommodates not only current conditions and needs, but also those anticipated. While predicting the future involves numerous variables, extrapolating from present development trends can yield informative insights. According to the CAV upgrade plan (Liu et al., 2019 ), levels 1–2 CAVs are projected to mature, and levels 3–4 CAVs to attain efficiency by the 2030s. By the 2050s, levels 3–4 CAVs are anticipated to be mature, with level 5 CAVs achieving efficiency. Given the lifecycle of transportation projects and infrastructure, planning for these scenarios should already be underway. However, it’s important to note that infrastructure requisites for various CAV levels differ. Higher-level CAVs necessitate greater V2X requirements. Consequently, the advancement of CAV-related technologies, including mobile networks, must be integral to planning. In this study, we address two distinct time periods, each coinciding with a specific CAV development stage. We thereby furnish the corresponding design framework to equip cities for the evolving landscape of CAV technology.
When applying the design framework to a specific city, a thorough investigation into the city’s current conditions becomes paramount. Cities worldwide vary significantly in terms of scale, topology, infrastructure, and needs. The configuration of CAV-related infrastructure must be tailored to the unique context of the study area. We propose the following procedure for assessing the existing city conditions:
Identify the main function of the city: Cities can serve as manufacturing hubs, tourist destinations, financial centers, or a combination of roles. Different city functions entail distinct transportation characteristics and requirements. The city’s primary function can often be deduced from its economic composition.
Recognize current land use patterns and building conditions: Special zones like conservation areas and historical sites deserve particular attention. Generally, making significant changes to these areas is challenging.
Understand the local topography: The terrain can limit the feasibility of constructing tunnels, rail lines, or other transportation infrastructure.
Understand the existing transportation network topology and urban design: Modifying road and rail networks is possible but usually comes with high costs and constraints due to the city’s established design.
Study the travel patterns and preferences of both local residents and potentially city visitors: Residents (and/or tourists) might prefer one transport mode over the other. We should then design the appropriate strategies for either supporting those preferences (e.g., providing additional biking infrastructure for people to commute by bike), or promote the use of more sustainable transport modes (e.g., provide better public transport services to induce a mode shift towards public transport).
Take into account the future development plan designated by the local government: New designs and/or modifications should be integrated into the overall plan and vision of the city.
Examining the attributes of diverse streets within the city constitutes another pivotal starting point. Given the multitude of streets in any urban area, each with its distinctive traits, devising singular design guidelines for each street is an impractical endeavor. A more pragmatic approach involves categorizing streets into broader classifications, enabling the formulation of general design guidelines. Typically, streets can be grouped into categories such as pedestrian-only streets, commercial-shared streets, residential-shared streets, central one-/two-way streets, and more (Global Designing Cities Initiative, 2016 ). Street typologies often correlate with the surrounding land use patterns, as streets are required to fulfill the social, environmental, and economic demands of their immediate vicinity. Long-standing POI data has proven useful in discerning the roles of individual entities or buildings. By leveraging such data to understand the functions of structures along each street, we can potentially identify representative streets that serve as foundational platforms for shaping our design guidelines.
The shift towards autonomous mobility is a pivotal response to the challenges posed by contemporary urban and transport systems. The integration of CAVs has the potential to significantly mitigate traffic accidents, congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption, especially when coupled with electric vehicles and shared-mobility concepts. Establishing CAV-related infrastructure forms the cornerstone of successfully introducing CAVs into urban environments. In this study, we have developed a comprehensive framework of design principles for CAV-related infrastructure encompassing both physical and virtual aspects. Moreover, these principles are designed to adapt and evolve in tandem with the progression of CAV technology. By leveraging a case study centered around Oxford, we have illustrated the practical application and evolution of our proposed framework. This case study involves evaluating the city’s existing conditions, selecting representative streets, and crafting CAV-related infrastructure designs that align with both street characteristics and the evolving CAV landscape.
Drawing from the current urban conditions and the future transport system envisioned by local governments, we have designed layout schemes for CAV-related infrastructure across four distinct street types in Oxford. For commercial areas, our recommendations encompass integrating CAV parking facilities within existing lots and introducing dedicated pick-up and drop-off points. In residential zones, we suggest reducing on-street parking and increasing charging infrastructure, repurposing freed space for alternative activities or sustainable transport modes like pedestrians and bicyclists. Narrow historical streets, by contrast, necessitate minimal alterations, strictly in adherence to the street and city aesthetics, especially respecting historical buildings and the overall built environment.
While our case study is rooted in the context of the UK, the design principles discussed herein hold universal applicability. However, it is essential to approach their implementation with a measure of caution, as the distinct characteristics and requirements of individual cities may warrant modifications to the proposed framework. As nations worldwide strive to integrate CAVs into their current transportation systems, we posit that the CAV-related infrastructure design framework outlined in this study stands poised to serve as a vital reference.
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We appreciate the support from the Global Leadership for the Future of Cities: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) and Drones held at Christ Church, University of Oxford.
This research is funded by the Shanghai Nature and Health Foundation, China (Grant No. 20230701 SNHF CH_Guan); the NYU Shanghai Major-Grants Seed Fund (Grant No. 2022CHGuan_MGSF); the Preparation Fund of Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urban Design and Urban Science (Grant No. 10407_Key Lab_Preparation Fund). M. Menendez acknowledges the support of the NYUAD Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES), funded by Tamkeen under the NYUAD Research Institute Award CG001. We received support from the PEAK Urban Programme at University of Oxford, which is funded by UKRI’s Global Challenge Research Fund (Grant Ref: ES/P011055/1).
Huazhen Liu, Miao Yang and ChengHe Guan contributed equally to this work.
Authors and Affiliations
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urban Design and Urban Science, NYU Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Huazhen Liu, Miao Yang, ChengHe Guan & Meizi You
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Division of Arts and Sciences, NYU Shanghai, Shanghai, China
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China
Yi Samuel Chen
PEAK Urban Programme, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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Huazhen Liu, Conceptualization; Investigation; Methodology; Writing original draft; Data curation & Interview. Miao Yang: Conceptualization; Investigation; Methodology; Writing original draft; Data curation & Interview. ChengHe Guan: Conceptualization; Methodology; Supervision; Writing original draft; Writing – Review & Editing; Resources. Yi Samuel Chen, Supervision; Resources; Writing – Review & Editing. Michael Keith: Supervision; Resources; Writing – Review & Editing. Meizi You: Investigation; Writing – Review & Editing. Monica Menendez: Resources; Writing – Review & Editing.
Correspondence to ChengHe Guan or Monica Menendez .
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Additional file 1: figure s1..
Distribution of POIs within the city of Oxford. Table S1. POI categories. Figure S2. Distribution map of each POI category within the city of Oxford. Table S2. Typical site for each POI category. Figure S3. Typical image of each POI category. Table S3. POI categories.
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Liu, H., Yang, M., Guan, C. et al. Urban infrastructure design principles for connected and autonomous vehicles: a case study of Oxford, UK. Comput.Urban Sci. 3 , 34 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43762-023-00110-0
Received : 23 June 2023
Revised : 02 October 2023
Accepted : 11 October 2023
Published : 31 October 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s43762-023-00110-0
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Information Technology Infrastructure Question How can one incorporate Cloud technology into a business model? Justify your response. Barton , C., & Muttik , I. (2009). Cloud security technologies. Journal of Information Security Technical Report , 14(1), 1-6.To incorporate cloud technology in a business model, there is the need to identify the type of cloud technology to be used. As Barton and Muttik indicate, using cloud storage from primary source storages is not similar to using the cloud storage for protection of data.
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International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture, 3-4.To create an IT infrastructure which is successful in a start-up company, Banerjee indicates that it is crucial to understand the main aspects that make the firm’s IT successful and intelligent. An organization should have an IT infrastructure which is dependable, as this will assist it in yielding more applications that are dependable. The IT infrastructure should also be manageable, which means that it should respond automatically to failures of hardware without the presence of the CIO.
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Barton , C., & Muttik , I. (2009). Cloud security technologies. Journal of Information Security Technical Report , 14(1), 1-6.Hosseini, A., & Sriram, L. (2010). Research agenda in cloud technologies. Journal of Computing Research Repository, 1001(3)
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Maybe I can use this factors for them to be motivated in their work. I will implement them or I can give hem the choice to do that things that they want but they need to use.
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This factors in order to them to make their work quotas. For example in a business your employees must need to have a sale of the company’s product. They can use the online shopping in selling the product, or they can spread/advertise their products through Instant messaging. In this way they can also have sale, and at the same thing they can enjoy their work because the way on how they worked is also their interest.
Q. Nat elements would you include in an education program for helping employees otter understand the dangers in which they place the organization’s IT infrastructure by using technology the wrong way while at work?
AAA. ; I will make some seminars for my employees for them to have the knowledge in the field of their Nor. I must supply all the things, information and knowledge for them to understand all the things that they need to be understood. Q.
Beyond the compromises caused to IT infrastructure, what do you see wrong with shopping online while at work? Is this illegal or unethical, perhaps both, or neither? AAA;For e its neither, because it depends on how are you going to react or respond on it. Q.
Would you consider working for a company that prohibited access o social networking sites, gaming, blobs, and online shopping while at work? Why or why not? How about in the defense industry? In certain places within defense organizations, [O’er not allowed to carry cellophanes and the like because you can take photos and ‘ideas with them. Do you want to work there? Why or why not? AAA;Yes, because if that is the case I can focused on my work and also in defense industry for me it also a sees because there are time that some other scene/event must be private to prevent destructions.
Q. Why Gene Y is being singled out? Wouldn’t sense that people in other age groups also put a company at risk by misusing technology? What is so littered and unique about Ge Q.
Would you consider working for a company that prohibited access to social networking sites, gaming, blobs, and online shopping while at work? Why or not? How about in defense industry? In certain places within defense organization, you’re not allowed to carry cell phones and the like because you can take photos
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