Increasing accessibility and balancing its distribution across space and social groups are two fundamental goals to make transport more sustainable and equitable. In the next decades, autonomous vehicles (AVs) could significantly transform the transport system, influencing accessibility and transport equity. In particular, depending on the assumed features of AVs (e.g., private or collective) and the considered spatial, social, and regulative context (e.g., rural or urban areas), impacts may be very different. Nevertheless, research in this field is still limited, and the relationship between AV assumptions and accessibility impacts is still partially unclear. This paper aims to provide a framework of the key and emerging aspects related to the implications of AVs for accessibility and transport equity. To set this framework, we perform an analysis of the scientific literature based on a conceptual model describing the implications of AVs for the distribution of accessibility across space and social groups. We recognize four main expected impacts of AVs on accessibility: (1) accessibility polarization, (2) accessibility sprawl, (3) exacerbation of social accessibility inequities, and (4) alleviation of social accessibility inequities. These impacts are described and analyzed in relation to the main AV assumptions expected to trigger them through different mechanisms. Based on the results, some recommendations for future studies intending to focus on the relation between AVs, accessibility, and transport equity are provided.
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