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Planning for Cars that Drive Themselves: Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Regional Transportation Plans, and Autonomous Vehicles
Through a review of long-range transportation plans and interviews with planners, this article examines how large metropolitan planning organizations are preparing for autonomous vehicles. In just a few years, the prospect of commercially available self-driving cars and trucks has gone from a futurist fantasy to a likely near-term reality. However, uncertainties about the new technology and its relationship to daily investment decisions have kept mention of self-driving cars out of nearly all long-range transportation plans.
New investments in suburban rail or highway expansion will tend to perform less well when considering the range of impacts from driverless cars than when not considering them.
Most modeling scenarios from the three regions have produced somewhat similar predictions, with 5 to 20 percent increases in regional VMT and associated decreases in non motorized modes and public transportation.
The only scenario that predicts lower VMT includes a per-mile vehicle charge of $1.65
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