The Drive Toward Change: Use Cases for Automated Vehicles

The Drive Toward Change: Use Cases for Automated Vehicles

The development of automated vehicles is moving into the deployment phase. Automation is being tested in vehicles as well as buses, trains, trucks, and tractors. Some initial deployment could occur in Oregon in the form of pilot programs for a low-speed passenger shuttle and a truck-mounted attenuator. This guide focuses on potential impacts for the next five to fifteen years and discusses policy implications for each use case of automated vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. In addition, there are other fundamentally disruptive technological forces undergoing simultaneous rapid development and deployment, including the introduction of new mobility technologies and the associated paradigm shift to thinking of mobility as a service, as well as the continued growth of e-commerce and the related rise in goods delivery. The purpose of this report is to examine how these forces of change are impacting, or will likely impact transportation, land use, urban design, and real estate, and what the implications may be for equity, health, the economy,the environment, and governance. Our aim was to identify key research areas that will assist in evidence-based decision making for planners, urban designers, and developers to address this critical paradigm shift. We identified key research questions in land use, urban design, transportation, and real estate that will rely on the expertise of these disciplines and lay the foundation for a research agenda examining how AVsand new mobility may impact the built environment. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by the forces of change identified above.

Key findings

Introduction of automated local delivery vehicles could change our transportation system by increasing demand for online retail and increase access to on-demand delivery services, such as food delivery.

Adoption of automated interregional transit vehicles could improve safety, provide more frequent service, create more opportunity for travel between cities and make longer commutes more feasible, and reduce congestion.

Automated regional transit could change the transportation system by improving safety, decreasing congestion, reducing cost of fares,allowing more frequent service, increasing mobility for those who cannot or choose not to drive, and increasing access to underserved areas.

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