Foresight report on Intelligent Infrastructure – whoops!

One of the more intelligent critical responses to the SDC report was:

“It is hard to take seriously a report on this subject that does not refer to the work of the Foresight Project on Intelligent Infrastructure Systems. “

The critic is partly right. The Intelligent Infrastructure Systems project produced by the Office of Science and Technology, to which this refers, is indeed a treasure trove of well-researched and well written documents on subjects closely related to the subject matter of our report. They cover both engineering and social science aspects of travel. It is shameful that we make no reference to it, and to be absolutely honest even more shameful that this is the first that I had heard of it. Everyone who is interested in this subject should spend some time reading the reports from this project.

In our defence, though, it’s curious that not one person that we spoke to in the course of our research for our own report mentioned this project. Either no-one in the transport organisations or technology companies that we interviewed had heard of it, or they did not think it was worth drawing our attention to it. That’s no reflection on the quality of the project itself, but I think it’s an eloquent demonstration of the way in which things like this can sink without trace.

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