Assuming that the development pathway for autonomous mobility remains to be determined and that the local and national public authorities have a key role to play in shaping it, especially by defining the conditions for market entry, this Issue Brief presents the key structural components of autonomous mobility upon which public policymakers will need to act to ensure VAs become the drivers of sustainable mobility. The second part of this Brief illustrates the risks and opportunities of AVs for the transition to more sustainable mobility systems.

Key messages

  • Autonomous mobility has great potential for transforming mobility, especially towards greater sustainability. But contrary to what advocates of autonomous mobility are saying, its future is far from certain: several different scenarios could play out, both in terms of how they develop and their impacts on the transport system.
  • Public authorities will have a key role to play in steering this technology towards the desirable scenarios and setting the conditions for the integration of autonomous mobility (planning road systems, regulating local mobility, supporting experiments and pricing services).
  • Early on, authorities need to determine under which conditions AVs can help them to achieve their sustainable mobility goals.
  • The private sector also needs to examine how the technological and industrial solutions it develops will be integrated into a sustainable future mobility system.
  • This shared vision of autonomous mobility should be developed with local and national public authorities.
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