Three predictions made for the US transportation industry

Last year set a record for U.S. transportation advancements, and 2018 will bring about more changes, according to the Eno Center for Transportation.

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The center offers three predictions for 2018.

Despite analysts’ forecasts that 250,000 to 300,000 electric vehicles will be sold in 2018, Americans are buying SUVs and light-duty trucks in increasing numbers. Of the 16.7 million vehicles forecasted to be sold this year, 10.8 million will be SUVs and light trucks.

Automakers are also pushing back the deployment date for autonomous vehicles. The delay is caused by the difficulty in designing autonomous systems.

Transit ridership will continue to decline. This is caused by increased car ownership, the accessibility of services like Uber and poor maintenance on public transit systems. This will cause transit authorities to rethink their services.

“New and exciting innovations continue to redefine transportation,” Paul Lewis, vice president of policy and finance at the Eno Center for Transportation, wrote in a December U.S. News and World Report op-ed. “This will force public and private sector entities to rethink what is possible. 2018 won’t be the year of the Hyperloop or some other ultramodern invention. Innovation will have to come through continued research and strategic public investments, setting the stage for a transportation system that is safer, faster, cleaner and more convenient.”