New Mobility - Autonomous Vehicles and the Region

New Mobility - Autonomous Vehicles and the Region outlines a plan for urban and suburban policymakers to ensure maximum benefit for region’s residents.

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Proactive planning: Rather than letting the emerging technology dictate how cities and suburban areas evolve alongside it. 

Recommendations for both urban and suburban communities: Recommendations keyed to context rather than mostly for urban areas.

Tips & Techniques

Strategies for Urban Centers: The introduction of autonomous vehicles in urban areas will create unique opportunities to improve transportation equity and create new forms of public transit to meet growing needs-- but cities must creatively manage congestion.

  • Prioritize Street Space for Public Transit, Pedestrians, Bikes and Freight.  Single-occupancy vehicles or low-capacity multi-passenger vehicles be they AV or conventional should get lower priority.

  • Implement vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fees or higher tolls to deter congestion.

  • Provide sufficient curb space for pick-up/drop-offs and deliveries to not impede the free flow of traffic in mixed-lanes.

  • Reduce off-street parking requirements and eliminate on-street parking for long-term vehicle storage.

  • Prioritize affordable, high-quality transit. Policies should promote the integration of AVs into public transit with the goal of continuing to provide high-quality service at affordable prices across a wide economic spectrum.  AVs also offer the potential for providing better micro-transit service that fits special-use cases (e.g. paratransit or late night service) at much lower cost than today.

Strategies for Suburban Areas: In suburban areas, autonomous vehicles have the potential to open up areas previously out of reach by those without cars, as well as seniors, the disabled and the young. It will give drivers their time back, and may reduce the cost of goods by potentially automating truck driving. However, suburban areas must act proactively to avoid the sprawl that could come alongside autonomous driving.

  • Continue to promote transit and the use of AV to link to transit hubs. This would control congestion on regional roads and allow the repurposing of parking lots at local transit stations.

  • Subsidize on-demand AV transit services to improve mobility for the disabled, young and elderly within the suburbs.  This can replace more expensive options being used today.

  • Discourage private AV use by scaling VMT fees to the number of passengers in a vehicle, making it more expensive to travel far distances alone. Ideally, a portion of VMT fees captured could be redirected to subsidize transit costs and encourage compact, transit-oriented development.  Otherwise, personal AVs could dominate the auto travel industry inducing and/or reinforcing existing sprawl.

  • Encourage vehicle sharing. Substantially reducing parking requirements for buildings and charging higher VMT fees for vacant vehicles (except delivery vehicles) to encourage shared vehicle use over private AV ownership.


New Mobility - Autonomous Vehicles and the Region