Potential impact of autonomous vehicles on movement behaviour: A scoping review


Purpose: To explore the potential impact of autonomous (i.e., driverless) vehicles (AV)s on movement behavior (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep). Guided by ecological models of health behaviour, we conducted a scoping review of the literature as it related to AVs and impact on movement behavior (MB) or mode choice (e.g., public transit), beliefs about MB or mode choice, or impact on environments that may influence MB or mode choice. Method: An extensive search revealed 933 possible studies which were then reduced to 77 after a title and abstract scan and to 22 after a full-article scan. The studies were then coded by two reviewers for characteristics of the design, participants, and findings. The purpose and main findings were recorded as text and subjected to thematic analyses. Results: The majority of studies took place in Europe or North America and involved cross-sectional or qualitative designs. The bulk of the research examined impact of AVs on the built environment (e.g., reduced demand for parking) and/ or mode choice (e.g., shift from public transit to shared AVs). Almost no research examined direct influences of AVs on movement behavior. Conclusion: Though no experimental studies have been conducted, the findings from the reviewed studies suggest that AVs will have a profound impact on the built environment and mode choice of people residing in much of the developed world. As a result, the movement behavior of residents in urban areas will be altered. We speculate that people will take fewer steps on a daily basis.