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Home > Cities Today > Issue 21 > What impact will autonomous vehicles have on your city?

What impact will autonomous vehicles have on your city?

In the race to put autonomous vehicles (AVs) onto roads, technology companies and car manufacturers have overtaken policy-makers’ capacity to act. Jonathan Ballantine and Adam Pitt explore how the integration of AVs would affect cities and how they are answering these challenges
If managed incorrectly the transition towards AVs will have varying implications for city planners and urban actors such as increasing urban sprawl
Photo: GATEway

Even just 20 years ago owning a car carried a degree of prestige and was seen as a status symbol or personal identity. Younger citizens of today have little-to-no interest in owning a car, evidenced by both the reduction of car sales and a fall in the number of driving licences being requested for those aged 18 to 30.

For millennials the ‘must have’ item is the smartphone, and mobility is seen as a service, for which they are ‘users’. Sharing is the new currency for this urban generation and AVs are set to play their part. But while the advantages of better safety and more efficient use of roads are promoted by manufacturers, what effect will autonomous vehicles have on the administrators tasked with introducing them to cities?

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