Industry Impacts

Fully automated vehicles (AVs) have a huge potential to mitigate crashes, enhance safety mobility for all, and increase road safety, road capacity, and in turn, efficiency. Availability of these factors will have direct impacts on various stakeholders involved in providing these services.

Mobility Impacts

One of the most important benefits of self-driving vehicles is that they will provide safe mobility to the elderly and the disabled, but also to people who are too young to drive. Fully automated vehicles (AVs) also facilitate personal comfort and independence while traveling safely.

Shared (Fully) Automated Vehicles

AVs have innate potential to encourage additional travel as compared to human-driven vehicles, both by those who currently drive privately owned vehicles and those who do not. This is due to the many added benefits that occur as a result of removing or limiting the driving task.

Mode Choice Impacts

The introduction of automation technology will greatly influence current transport networks, travel behavior, and ridership choices. Real-time data precision will increase intersection and lane capacities, reducing travel time. The preferences and impacts of fully-automated vehicles (AVs) and shared full-automated vehicles (SAVs) will differ for all subgroup categories of demographics and economic backgrounds.

Safety Impacts of Connected and Fully Automated Vehicles

Connected and fully automated vehicle (CAV) technology has the potential to allow vehicles to assist in avoiding collisions, mitigating crash severity, ensuring traffic safety, and reducing crashes due to human error (which is the most prominent contributor to crashes). Many safety benefits of AV technology would save thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year for various industries.

Traffic Impacts

The introduction of fully-automated vehicles (AVs) will lead to tremendous changes to the current U.S. transportation system, VMT, congestion, and traffic flow patterns, among other things. While there are many concerns about the negative traffic impacts of AVs, the automated nature of the vehicles does suggest a possibility of a reduction in long-term congestion if properly implemented.

Expected Timeline

Automated vehicles are coming — probably sooner than you think. But when will we get there, and how will we get there? Here is the evolutionary path to fully automated vehicles, where today’s vehicles get automated driving features bit by bit.