Automated vehicles are likely to have significant impacts on the transport system such as increased road capacity, more productive/enjoyable time spent travelling in a car, and increased vehicle kilometres travelled. However, there is a great risk that automated driving may negatively impact the environment if adequate policies are not put in place. This chapter examines the effects of driverless vehicles and the types of policies required to attain sustainable implementation of the technology. To understand the effects on a systemic level, and to understand the needs and impacts of policies, the dynamics must be understood. Therefore, a causal loop diagram (CLD) is developed and analysed. One important insight is that the effects of driverless vehicles are mainly on the vehicular level (e.g., the reduced number of accidents per vehicle). These effects can be cancelled out on a systemic level (e.g., due to increased vehicle-kilometre travelled (VKT) that increases total number of accidents). The marginal costs of road transport are central to both freight and passenger transport. Automation will reduce marginal costs and shift the equilibrium in the transport system towards a state with higher VKT. This will lead to greater energy consumption and higher emissions. To attain sustainability goals, there might be a need to balance this reduction of marginal costs by using policy instruments. In the work, CLDs is experienced to be a useful tool to support the collaboration between experts from different fields in the dialogue about policies.
Pernestål, A., Engholm, A., Kristoffersson, I. and Hammes, J.J. (2020), "The Impacts of Automated Vehicles on the Transport System and How to Create Policies that Target Sustainable Development Goals", Paulsson, A. and Sørensen, C.H. (Ed.) Shaping Smart Mobility Futures: Governance and Policy Instruments in times of Sustainability Transitions, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 37-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83982-650-420201003
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