How Autonomous Vehicles Will Affect Our Cities

März 1, 2018 by Wolfgang Gruel

How Autonomous Vehicles Will Affect Our Cities

autonomous vehicles (AV)
smart city

start date/finish date:
01.03.2018 – 30.09.2018

Wolfgang Gruel

Autonomous cars are discussed as solution to many of the world’s mobility challenges. They promise to be safer, more efficient and to reduce traffic. But how will we use them? And what happens if we all use them? We want to find out more about these questions, create awareness for some of the unintended consequences, and foster the public debate about the societal goals that we pursue with these new tools.

We have developed an interactive workshop in which we investigate how the participants’ behavior might change if they have autonomous vehicles at their disposal. We collect the data on potential behavioral change and, with the help of a a system dynamics model, create scenarios that show what happens to our cities if everybody behaves like the participants.

In our workshops, it became apparent that autonomous vehicles (AVs) would be the preferred mode of transportation of our participants (up to 92% of trips would be mady by AV). Also, the occupancy of these vehicles would decrease compared to our current situation, and public transit usage would go down. Despite of the efficiency gains that AVs promise, we would see more and longer trips – and end up with more traffic and congestion.