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Self-driving cars will change cities


  • Zakharenko, Roman


The effects of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on urban forms are modeled, calibrated, and analyzed. Vehicles are used for commute between peripheral home and central work, and require land for parking. An advantage of AVs is that they can optimize the location of day parking, relieving downtown land for other uses. They also reduce the per-kilometer cost of commute. Increased AV availability increases worker welfare, travel distances, and the city size. Land rents increase in the center but decrease in the periphery. Possible locations of AV daytime parking are analyzed. The effects of AV introduction on traffic and on mass transit coverage are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Zakharenko, Roman, 2016. "Self-driving cars will change cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 26-37.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:61:y:2016:i:c:p:26-37
    DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2016.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan K. Brueckner & Sofia F. Franco, 2017. "Parking and Urban Form," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 95-127.
    2. Anderson, Simon P. & de Palma, Andre, 2004. "The economics of pricing parking," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Voith, Richard, 1998. "Parking, Transit, and Employment in a Central Business District," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 43-58, July.
    4. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2006. "An integrated model of downtown parking and traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 418-442, November.
    5. repec:ucp:bkecon:9781884829987 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. Solving Traffic Congestion: A Plan for New York City
      by Jason Barr in Skynomics Blog on 2019-05-16 12:35:07


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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Staricco & Valentina Rappazzo & Jacopo Scudellari & Elisabetta Vitale Brovarone, 2019. "Toward Policies to Manage the Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles on the City: A Visioning Exercise," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-21, September.
    2. Latham, Alan & Nattrass, Michael, 2019. "Autonomous vehicles, car-dominated environments, and cycling: Using an ethnography of infrastructure to reflect on the prospects of a new transportation technology," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    3. Marcos Medina-Tapia & Francesc Robusté, 2019. "Implementation of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in Cities Could Have Neutral Effects on the Total Travel Time Costs: Modeling and Analysis for a Circular City," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Rodrigo Marçal Gandia & Ricardo Braga & Fabio Antonialli & Bruna Habib Cavazza & Joel Yutaka Sugano & Cleber Castro & André Luiz Zambalde & Arthur Miranda Neto & Isabelle Nicolaï, 2017. "The quintuple helix model and the future of mobility: The case of autonomous vehicles," Post-Print hal-01652925, HAL.
    5. Ostermeijer, Francis & Koster, Hans RA. & van Ommeren, Jos, 2019. "Residential parking costs and car ownership: Implications for parking policy and automated vehicles," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 276-288.
    6. Morteza Taiebat & Austin L. Brown & Hannah R. Safford & Shen Qu & Ming Xu, 2019. "A Review on Energy, Environmental, and Sustainability Implications of Connected and Automated Vehicles," Papers 1901.10581,, revised Feb 2019.
    7. Marc-Olivier Pepin & Georges A. Tanguay, 2019. "Estimation of Car Trips Generated by the Arrival of Autonomous Vehicles in the Montreal Metropolitan Area," CIRANO Working Papers 2019s-17, CIRANO.
    8. Millard-Ball, Adam, 2019. "The autonomous vehicle parking problem," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 99-108.
    9. Schweitzer, Nicola & Hofmann, Rupert & Meinheit, Andreas, 2019. "Strategic customer foresight: From research to strategic decision-making using the example of highly automated vehicles," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 49-65.
    10. Lane, Bradley W., 2019. "Revisiting ‘An unpopular essay on transportation:’ The outcomes of old myths and the implications of new technologies for the sustainability of transport," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    11. Fraedrich, Eva & Heinrichs, Dirk & Bahamonde-Birke, Francisco J. & Cyganski, Rita, 2019. "Autonomous driving, the built environment and policy implications," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 162-172.
    12. Yefang Zhou & Yanyan Li & Mingyang Hao & Toshiyuki Yamamoto, 2019. "A System of Shared Autonomous Vehicles Combined with Park-And-Ride in Residential Areas," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(11), pages 1-15, June.
    13. Gelauff, George & Ossokina, Ioulia & Teulings, Coen, 2019. "Spatial and welfare effects of automated driving: Will cities grow, decline or both?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 277-294.
    14. Larson, William & Zhao, Weihua, 2020. "Self-driving cars and the city: Effects on sprawl, energy consumption, and housing affordability," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    15. Milakis, Dimitris & Kroesen, Maarten & van Wee, Bert, 2018. "Implications of automated vehicles for accessibility and location choices: Evidence from an expert-based experiment," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 142-148.

    More about this item


    Self-driving cars; Autonomous vehicles; Commute; Parking; Urban forms;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R49 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Other


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