Examining motivations for owning autonomous vehicles: Implications for land use and transportation

Tao Tao, Jason Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Illustrating the associations between built environment characteristics and autonomous vehicle (AV) ownership helps policymakers understand where AVs emerge first and their impacts on society. However, few studies have addressed interest in AV ownership from the spatial perspective. Using regional travel survey data from the Twin Cities, we applied the gradient boosting decision tree method to test three hypotheses (diffusion of innovation, efficiency, and modal substitution) underlying the relationships between respondents' interest in owning AVs and its correlates. Results showed that the innovation-diffusion hypothesis dominates the motivations for owning AVs, followed by preference for efficiency and then modal substitution. However, its associations with built environment variables suggest more of preference for efficiency than of diffusion of innovation and modal substitution. Population density, road connectivity, and land use entropy are negatively associated with the interest. The results provide suggestions to address the externalities of AVs in different areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103361
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Autonomous vehicle
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Efficiency
  • Land use
  • Modal substitution


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