Help or hindrance? The travel, energy and carbon impacts of highly automated vehicles

Help or hindrance? The travel, energy and carbon impacts of highly automated vehicles

"Our primary focus is travel related energy consumption and emissions, since potential lifecycle impacts are generally smaller in magnitude. We explore the net effects of automation on emissions through several illustrative scenarios, finding that automation might plausibly reduce road transport GHG emissions and energy use by nearly half – or nearly double them – depending on which effects come to dominate."

Key findings

Travel demand may grow in response to increase automative private vehicle expansion.

"Automation may be favorable to the introduction of advanced and alternative fuels, and may lead to a reduction in fuel emissions intensity."

"The reduction in the cost of driver’s time from automation is similarly important but almost entirely unexplored," this would allow us to see much clearer into how individuals value their time and if it would impact driving conditions or mode choice.

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