Expert Voices: Self-Driving Cars and Society

Self-driving cars—also known as autonomous vehicles (AVs)—will change the way we get around, and will have implications for safety, emissions, equity, jobs, transit, land use, and data sharing and privacy. In this blog series, we ask experts from across the country to dig deeper into these topics.

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Three Revolutions and the Future of Cars: An Interview with Dr. Dan Sperling

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

There are a number of benefits we can expect to see with the introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs), including more convenient transportation. One possible consequence resulting from this would be an increase in the number of miles that people drive, creating more vehicle pollution. To avoid this outcome, experts like Dr. Dan Sperling from the University of California, Davis, are stressing the need to incentivize low-carbon vehicles (like electric cars) and an increased number of passengers per trip (sometimes called sharing or pooling). My colleague Abby Figueroa sat down with Dr. Sperling to discuss the future of transportation and his book Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future. Read more >

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Aerial view of urban sprawl in Nevada.
Urban sprawl in Nevada. Photo by USDA NRCS

Explaining Land Use Implications of Autonomous Vehicles: Meet Dr. Jonathan Levine

, Kendall Science Fellow

How AVs and other changes in transportation affect sprawl will depend on policies regarding land use. Why is land use policy important in realizing a positive role for AVs in a clean transportation future? Meet Jonathan Levine, a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Read more >

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