Planning the driverless city

Autonomous vehicles may improve road safety, reduce car ownership, and reduce the need for parking. They may also entrench car dependency, encourage sprawl and shift investment away from vital public transport systems.

Image: CC-BY-2.0 jurvetson

The evolution of the ‘driverless city’ will be shaped by complex interplay between competing visions for AV technology:

  • The IT industry wants to replace private-vehicle ownership with ‘mobility as a service’.
  • The existing automobile industry want private vehicle ownership to grow.
  • AVs could threaten some public transport operations and strengthen others; public transport agencies will seek to rationalise services and expand their market through collaboration with AV providers.

Through work funded by the Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Hub and Curtin University, a team including Dr John Stone and David Ashmore is developing scenarios for city-shaping under various patterns of AV deployment. This team is also engaging with transport and land-use agencies across Australasia and internationally to determine local preparedness for fast-emerging planning and regulatory challenges.

By bringing together key policy actors to explore these issues, and by taking the debate to the public through a range of on-line methods, this project aims to shape local and national policy discussions and build capacity for current and future competitive grant proposals.

Lecture: Planning the driverless city: questions for governments and citizens, 22 November 2017.

Project details

Major Sponsor

Melbourne Engagement Grant

Research Partners

Curtin University
Lund University (Sweden)
Technical University of Munich (Germany)

Project Team and Contacts

Dr John Stone (University of Melbourne)
Dr Crystal Legacy (University of Melbourne)
Mr David Ashmore (University of Melbourne)
Prof Carey Curtis (Curtin)
Dr Jan Scheurer (Curtin)
Dr John Hultén (Lund)
Prof Gebhard Wulfhorst (TU Munich)
Prof Jago Dodson (RMIT)


Dr John Stone