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With the help of sensors, computers, and machine learning, autonomous vehicles are navigating increasingly complex driving environments. Eventually, human operators will be optional, and this capability could have dramatic implications for personal mobility, public transportation, and the movement of goods.
Experts in the field anticipate that AVs present major benefits and opportunities including:
Yet, there are also questions about AV’s impact on a wide array of important policy issues. For instance, how will AVs impact vehicle miles traveled (VMT)? Will AVs promote or discourage active modes of transportation? How will the adoption of AVs change the built environment? Could AVs spark a new wave of development further away from urban centers, or will they catalyze the revitalization of existing neighborhoods and downtowns? What will happen to jobs in the transportation and warehousing sector, a significant sector for San Joaquin County, as AVs displace jobs behind the wheel? How will the transportation system be funded once traditional revenue sources become obsolete (e.g. parking revenue, moving violation fees, tax revenues related to vehicle purchase, registration, gasoline consumption, etc.)?
Technological innovation will undoubtedly have significant and transformative impacts on the transportation system. How will AVs shape the future of transportation in San Joaquin County? To begin addressing this question for the 2022 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, staff has prepared a Automated Vehicles briefing packet, which includes:
This briefing is the first in a series that staff will bring to committees and board. The intent of the series is to build understanding and dialogue on emerging issues in regional planning that will help to inform policy recommendations and investments for adoption in the next regional plan.