Make way for the wealthy? Autonomous vehicles, markets in mobility, and social justice

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Abstract

The development of a ‘mobility as a service’ model for accessing urban transport via autonomous vehicles may be expected to have far-reaching implications for the economics of road transport. In particular, it would offer a new opportunity to price access to the roads in accordance with the principles of the free market. Once people are paying for mobility on the roads on a ‘per trip’ basis, it will be possible to offer different levels of access–and service–at different prices. According to hegemonic ideas in the transport planning and economics literature the introduction of such a ‘market in mobility’ would be an economically efficient way of allocating access to the scarce good of space on the roads. In this paper we draw attention to a number of ethical and political challenges to the appropriateness of the use of such a pricing mechanism in the context of urban mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalMobilities
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • driverless vehicles
  • equity
  • ethics
  • markets
  • mobility as a service
  • social justice
  • transport

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