News Release: February 26, 2018

Helping Communities Navigate Autonomous Vehicles (AV)

APA continues to identify best practices for helping communities prepare for the introduction of autonomous vehicles.

CHICAGO — The American Planning Association (APA) expands its collection of autonomous vehicle (AV) resources to help communities manage the intended and unintended outcomes of the new technology. As introductory testing of AVs continues to gain momentum, APA and its members remain steadfast in helping communities prepare and mitigate challenges of AVs related to land use, transportation planning, social equity, and economic development.

While AVs are already in the testing phase in some cities, a number of steps should be taken by all communities today. The new resources offer additional guidance in navigating what considerations and actions should be taken immediately and in the near future.

All of APA's AV resources can be found at: New additions to the collection include:

"Preparing Communities for Autonomous Vehicles" Report

The report summarizes the findings from the AV Symposium APA convened in October 2017 as well as additional research into the implications of AVs on cities and regions. Of concern include development of federal and state policies; changes to the approach public and private sectors take for planning, design, and development of the built environment; policies for an anticipated increase of pilot-testing AVs; and inclusion of AVs in developing comprehensive plans.

Read the Report "Preparing Communities for Autonomous Vehicles"

Legislative Principles

The impacts of AVs will extend well beyond the built environment. Considerations must also be given to both social and economic factors. Public policies regarding AVs have the potential to either reinforce or undermine local and regional planning goals. APA's Board of Directors approved a set of 26 policy principles to provide guidance and policy recommendations. The principles provide recommendations for addressing concepts of mobility, access, sustainability, safety, security, data, and economics.

Read APA's Policy Principles for Autonomous Vehicles

AV Podcast Series

APA has launched "Planning the Autonomous Future," a new podcast series focusing on the impacts of AVs on our communities. The series will feature interviews with people working on the forefront of AV implementation, including the first AV pilot in the U.S., types of vehicle design, and considerations that need to be made today. It is hosted by APA's Deputy Research Director Jennifer Henaghan, AICP, and Kelley Coyner, cofounder of Mobility e3. The first episode looks at the changes AVs will bring to communities, and highlights outcomes from APA's AV Symposium.

Listen to "Planning the Autonomous Future" Episode 1:

Zoning for AVs

How will AVs change travel behavior and affect local zoning codes? The December 2017 issue of Zoning Practice, Getting Ready for Driverless Cars, delves into these questions. From exploring the variety of autonomous vehicles to the gradual integration into everyday transportation to finally adaptation of existing zoning codes. Available to subscribers or for individual issue purchase.

APA continues to work on identifying the best AV practices and assisting communities in avoiding any potential pitfalls. AVs will be a key subject at APA's National Planning Conference in New Orleans, April 21–24, 2018. Look for sessions and panel discussions involving some of the country's top AV experts and thinkers. Additional resources will be available throughout the year.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating communities of lasting value. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 38,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA's Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at

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Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395;