Autonomous vehicle implementation predictions: implications for transport planning

Motor vehicles Autonomous vehicles Transport infrastructure Transport development Transport integration Transport

This report explores autonomous (also called self-driving, driverless or robotic) vehicle benefits and costs, and implications for various planning issues. It investigates how quickly self-driving vehicles are likely to be developed and deployed based on experience with previous vehicle technologies, their benefits and costs, and how they are likely to affect travel demands and planning decisions such as optimal road, parking and public transit supply.

This analysis indicates that some benefits, such as more independent mobility for affluent non-drivers, may begin in the 2020s or 2030s, but most impacts, including reduced traffic and parking congestion (and therefore infrastructure savings), independent mobility for low-income people (and therefore reduced need for public transit), increased safety, energy conservation and pollution reductions, will only be significant when autonomous vehicles become common and affordable, probably in the 2040s to 2050s, and some benefits may require prohibiting human-driven vehicles on certain roadways, which could take even longer.

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