The impacts of vehicle automation on transport-disadvantaged people

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As an emerging technology, vehicle automation will have profound impacts on various aspects of society. Although recent studies have examined the impacts of the proliferation of vehicles with high/full-level automation, few have emphasized the implications for social equity. To better understand how autonomous vehicles (AVs) may influence equity, this study explores the potential influence of AVs on eight groups of transportation-disadvantaged people. Specifically, we synthesize prominent travel behaviors of the identified groups and explore possible impacts of AVs on these groups. We found that AVs tend to bring more benefits than harm to some people but may have mixed effects on others. Based on the findings, we provide policy recommendations for future policy decision-making, which will likely to play an essential role in maximizing AVs’ benefits and mitigating their challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100447
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Science Foundation of the USA (#1737633). We are grateful to Katherine Emory for her editorial review and input.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • Autonomous vehicle
  • Connected and automated vehicles
  • Driverless vehicle
  • Environmental justice
  • Equity
  • Transport disadvantage


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