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Policies for Autonomy: How American Cities Envision Regulating Automated Vehicles

1
Urban Institute, Washington, DC 20024, USA
2
Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4040055
Received: 24 September 2020 / Revised: 24 October 2020 / Accepted: 28 October 2020 / Published: 31 October 2020
Local governments play an important role in structuring urban transportation through street design, zoning, and shared jurisdiction over ride-hailing, transit, and road pricing. While cities can harness these powers to steer planning outcomes, there is little research about what local officials think about regulatory changes related to autonomous vehicles (AV). We compile key AV-related policies recommended by scholars but rarely implemented, and conduct a survey of municipal officials throughout the United States, exploring their personal support and perceptions of bureaucratic capacity, legal limits, and political backing for each policy. This paper finds broad personal support for regulations related to right-of-way, equity, and land use, such as for increasing pedestrian space, expanding access for low-income people, and reducing sprawl. However, officials emphasized uncertain bureaucratic and legal capacity for city intervention outside of these areas, reaffirming limited local power in the federal system. Only a minority expected political support for any policy. Greater population size and more liberal resident political ideologies are strongly associated with personal and political support for many policies. Local population growth is correlated with greater capacity to undertake policies. This work contributes to the growing literature on transportation governance in the context of technological uncertainty. View Full-Text
Keywords: autonomous vehicles; transportation policy; local governments; land-use policy; municipal policies autonomous vehicles; transportation policy; local governments; land-use policy; municipal policies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Freemark, Y.; Hudson, A.; Zhao, J. Policies for Autonomy: How American Cities Envision Regulating Automated Vehicles. Urban Sci. 2020, 4, 55. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4040055

AMA Style

Freemark Y, Hudson A, Zhao J. Policies for Autonomy: How American Cities Envision Regulating Automated Vehicles. Urban Science. 2020; 4(4):55. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4040055

Chicago/Turabian Style

Freemark, Yonah, Anne Hudson, and Jinhua Zhao. 2020. "Policies for Autonomy: How American Cities Envision Regulating Automated Vehicles" Urban Science 4, no. 4: 55. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4040055

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