The National Academies

NCHRP 20-102(34) [Anticipated]

Land Use Impacts of Shared and Private AVs
[ NCHRP 20-102 (Impacts of Connected Vehicles and Automated Vehicles on State and Local Transportation Agencies--Task-Order Support) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
Staff Responsibility: Trey Joseph Wadsworth
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2020

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

With growing use of automated vehicles, significant changes to travel behavior and the built environment are anticipated. With private AVs, people may be less likely to live close to work, less likely to travel by non-vehicular modes, and may travel longer distances as cost of time spent traveling decreases. Transportation and land use planners need to consider a variety of future realities that are dependent on the usage of private versus shared AVs.


AV technology is predicted to impact the location choices for people’s homes and company offices. As AVs take away the attention cost of driving, people are more likely to look for housing outside of city centers, in suburban and rural areas where land is cheaper and space is attractive, if these places are well connected by transportation networks. The overall effect of this sprawl may be dependent upon policies that curb private AV ownership or prohibit it entirely. In addition, AVs may eventually lead to less space needed for parking and may require less right-of-way altogether. There may be changes in the way that private and public land developers recapture unnecessary parking spaces and public right-of-way.


This project will evaluate the impact of shared AVs within both urban and rural communities, including the impacts on multi-modal transportation and land use infrastructure design. The goal of this project is to provide planners with an understanding of how policies and investments into encouraging shared AVs could impact the changes of land use patterns within different urban or rural contexts.


This project should build upon modeling tools and strategies developed in the 20-102 research program, by USDOT, and/or other regional infrastructure owner-operators (IOOs). It should also complement NCHRP Report 924, Foreseeing the Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/179645.aspx).


Task Overview


The research team will summarize existing literature and document the current state of the art in land use and urban planning models. The research will identify the necessary components of land-use models that need to be modified to consider differences between private AVs and shared AVs. The research team should identify the current best-practice assumptions when evaluating differences of traveler behavior and location decisions for live/work/play. These assumptions may be taken from existing survey research done on people’s willingness to share rides on existing TNCs/AVs and the factors that affect that decision (e.g., cost differences, length of wait time, length of time to destination, etc.). The research team will make any necessary changes to the planning modeling tools to factor in effects of ridesharing in AVs.


The research should characterize the key changes to each component of the land use and locational selection modeling process and examine several potential alternative realities for several test locations. For example, tests could include predictions in several of the nation’s major MPOs with different characteristics, such as:

·         Dense urban (e.g., Washington, D.C.)

·         Sprawling suburban (e.g., Phoenix, AZ)

·         Interurban (e.g., Dallas-Fort Worth, TX)

·         Coastal (e.g., Los Angeles, CA)

·         Low density (e.g., Boise, ID)


The research should provide the level and types of changes of land use results on a scale of the level of market penetration of shared AVs within each of the studied representative community. The research should also test varying levels of multi-modal transportation infrastructure and service within each representative community. Results of modeling the land use patterns within each representative community will show the population changes (changes in where people live), the changes of different industry work locations, and changes of locations for entertainment, retail, and other private services.


The research team will summarize the collected information and provide a guidance for local, state, and federal policy makers to understand the effects of different market penetrations of shared AVs and the subsequent land use zoning decisions.



·         Synthesis of current state of the art on land-use planning and limitations of modeling shared rides in AV systems

·         Methodology for incorporating shared AVs into existing tools for land-use planning

·         Identification of representative communities and alternate realities

·         An interim report containing the results of applying tools to these representative communities

·         Summary white paper of results and guidance for potential land use policies

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