Autonomous vehicle policies with equity implications: Patterns and gaps

Katie Emory, Frank Douma, Jason Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Autonomous vehicles (AVs) may improve or harm social equity for disadvantaged groups. Government agencies, planning organizations, businesses, and nonprofits have drafted or published an array of AV-related policies that have equity implications. Through a review of academic and grey literature, this study pioneers a comprehensive analysis of these policies in terms of patterns, frequencies and gaps. Our analysis shows that these policies can be grouped into three categories: access and inclusion, multimodal transportation, and community wellbeing. Regarding specific policies, considerations for a shared-use model and impacts to the economy dominate the policy landscape. Helping marginalized communities, urban parking, and automating transit are also prevalent policies. However, considerations for people with low incomes and people of color are not well represented, nor are personal security issues within shared vehicles, or models for deploying AVs in rural communities. Policymakers are beginning to plan for the potential equity impacts of AVs, but more opportunities remain for developing policies that will ensure the most equitable outcomes. This study elucidates the different types of policies with equity implications and provides planners and policymakers a base from which to draft their own policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100521
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation of the USA (# 1737633 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Autonomous vehicle
  • Disadvantaged people
  • Emerging transportation
  • Environmental justice
  • Equity


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous vehicle policies with equity implications: Patterns and gaps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this