Planning for active transport in driverless cities: A conceptual framework and research agenda

Farjana Shatu, Md Kamruzzaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are expected to be a major world trend. They are predicted to enhance safety, flexibility, inclusiveness and sustainability in travel. However, the multitude of benefits from AVs is likely to be overshadowed by their disruptive effects on active transport use. Unless mitigated, the decline in active transport use will produce a significant burden on health, businesses, productivity, congestion, and well-being. However, planners are unsure of how to define long-term visions and identify transition pathways to achieve a desired driverless city. 

Methods: This paper presents a scoping review of studies in the nexus between AVs (levels 4 and 5) and active transport. Based on an understanding of the mechanism by which AVs are likely to affect active transport, a conceptual framework is developed by identifying and categorising specific variables and mapping their relationships. Finally, suggestions are made for future research to inform planning for driverless cities that promote active transport use. 

Results: Findings show that AVs will affect active transport through 35 different pathways. The pathways are different for private AVs and shared AVs. The review shows that both private- and shared-AVs would not only disrupt active transport but also create opportunities encouraging people to use active transport. 

Conclusion: The findings from this study: a) present a foundation in understanding the disruptive effects of AVs on active transport; b) provide insights into how policy pathways can be developed to encourage active transport in driverless cities; c) act as a basis to operationalise future research within an established framework; d) indicate how future research might advance knowledge on the topic; and e) provide a reference point for interpretation of findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101364
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport & Health
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Active transport
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Conceptual framework
  • Driverless city
  • Scoping review

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