Negative Spillovers of New Technologies: The Unequal Burden of Congestion Created by Autonomous Vehicles
26 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020
Date Written: July 26, 2020
Autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies lower the private cost of driving, leading to induced demand for road use at peak times. Because adoption is likely to skew towards higher-income commuters, we show that the congestion externalities exacerbated by adoption are likely to be experienced disproportionately by lower-income drivers. Unless proactive policies like congestion pricing or improved access to public transit or ride-share are simultaneously implemented, autonomous vehicles are likely to make lower-income commuters actively worse off in congested cities where many higher-income commuters currently take public transit.
Keywords: automation, congestion, distributional impact, externalities, new technologies, transportation
JEL Classification: D62, Q55, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation