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Shared Autonomous Vehicles: Catalyst of New Mobility for the Last Mile?

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We are now witnessing the initial deployment of technology that promises to redefine what it means to travel by automobile and reshape the auto's future role in transportation networks. After decades of research, autonomous vehicles (AVs) are entering the mobility marketplace. AVs promise to make automobile travel safer by averting crashes, more equitable by providing mobility for the elderly, disabled, low-income, and non-drivers, and more efficient by increasing road capacity, and allowing for driving time to be used for work or entertainment. A world of automated driving is likely to become a world where individual car ownership diminishes due to risk avoidance in the early adoption of this technology. Shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) would retain door-to-door travel without the costs and congestion that accompany single occupant vehicles. Through their potential to connect the first and last mile of trips in low-density areas, integrating SAVs with public transport systems could substantially increase synergies between autos and transit. Lowdensity land use could thus be shielded from climate and oil vulnerability as SAVs maintain accessibility to auto-dependent locations during times of climate and energy disruption.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-12-01

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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