Planning for Autonomous Mobility

PAS Report 592

By Jeremy Crute, William Riggs, AICP, Timothy Chapin, Lindsay Stevens, AICP

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Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are coming soon to a roadway near you. Is your community ready for them?

AVs are poised to disrupt the built environment and planning practices just as the automobile did more than a century ago. Planning for Autonomous Mobility is a call to action for planners to develop policy solutions and infrastructure investments that ensure an attractive, people-friendly, equitable, and safe AV future.

The authors offer planners a primer on AV technology and explore its many opportunities and challenges. AVs may improve traffic safety, travel efficiency, transportation access, and air quality — but they could also reinforce auto-oriented sprawl, increase vehicle miles traveled and emissions, and undermine active transportation modes. Which way the scales will tip depends on the policy and planning decisions planners and local governments make, starting now.

A world with AVs will require retrofitting, reimagining, and repurposing transportation infrastructure and the built environment. This PAS report previews these coming changes, and advises planners on how to prepare for and manage these transitions to ensure their communities reap the benefits — and avoid the pitfalls — of AV technology.


Executive Summary

About the Authors

Jeremy Crute has been the senior planner in Florida State University's Department of Urban and Regional Planning for the last four years. There he has managed a wide range of applied and scholarly research projects on community redevelopment, transportation, and land-use issues.

William (Billy) Riggs, PhD, AICP, LEED AP, is a global expert and thought leader in the areas of future mobility and smart transportation, housing, economics, and urban development. He is a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management, and an advisor to multiple companies and start-ups on technology, smart mobility, and urban development.

Timothy S. Chapin, PhD, is the dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy and a professor in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at Florida State University, where he has studied the effectiveness of Florida's growth management regime, assessed the success of planning efforts in shaping development outcomes, and evaluated the role of sports facilities in the promotion of urban redevelopment.

Lindsay Stevens, AICP, is the land program manager for the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where she provides strategic leadership for land protection efforts including implementation of conservation real estate transactions and planning for the protection of critical areas in Florida.

Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Sept. 1, 2018
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1: Introduction
Planning, Uncertainty, and the Revolution
About This Report

Chapter 2: Autonomous Vehicles 101
The Technology: What Is It and How Does It Work?
AV Ownership and the Rise of Shared AVs
Timeline for AV Adoption

Chapter 3: Planning Opportunities and Challenges in an AV World
AV-Related Planning Opportunities
AV-Related Planning Challenges
Other Secondary Impacts of AVs

Chapter 4: Potential Impacts of AVs on the Built Environment
Access Management
Signage and Signalization
Interface With Bicycles and Pedestrians
Redevelopment Opportunities
New Design Paradigms

Chapter 5: Considerations for Policy Making and Infrastructure Investments
Addressing Planning Opportunities and Challenges
Transitioning to an AV-Dominated System
Addressing AV in Community Planning Processes

Chapter 6: Conclusion: The Transformative Impacts of AVs