Potential Impact of Autonomous Vehicles on Movement Behavior: A Scoping Review


      This scoping review examines the literature as it relates to autonomous vehicles and impact on movement behavior (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep) or mode choice (e.g., public transit), beliefs about movement behavior or mode choice, or impact on environments that may influence movement behavior or mode choice.

      Evidence acquisition

      A search was conducted in June 2018 and updated in August 2019 of numerous databases (e.g., SPORTDiscuss, PubMed, and Scopus) and hand searching using terms such as autonomous cars and walking. Documents were included if they were databased studies, published in English, and related to the research question. They were then coded by 6 reviewers for characteristics of the document, design, sample, autonomous vehicles, movement behavior, and findings. The coding and analysis were conducted between August 2018 and September 2019.

      Evidence synthesis

      Of 1,262 possible studies, 192 remained after a title and abstract scan, and 70 were included after a full-article scan. Most of the studies were conducted in Europe (42%) or North America (40%), involved simulation modeling (50%) or cross-sectional (34%) designs, and were published mostly in transportation (83%) journals or reports. Of the 252 findings, 61% related to movement behavior or mode choice. Though the findings were equivocal in some cases, impacts included decreased demand for active transportation, increased demand for autonomous vehicles, increased sitting and sleeping, and reduced walking.


      Though no experimental or longitudinal studies have been published to date, the available research suggests that autonomous vehicles will impact aspects of mode choice and the built environment of people residing in much of the developed world, resulting in reduced walking and more sitting.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. SAE International. Taxonomy and definitions for terms related to driving automation systems for on-road motor vehicles. Updated June 15, 2018. Accessed January 27, 2020.

        • Litman T
        Autonomous vehicle implementation predictions: implications for transport planning.
        Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Published 2020
        Date accessed: January 27, 2020
        • Milakis D
        • Snelder M
        • van Arem B
        • van Wee B
        • Correia G
        Development and transport implications of automated vehicles in the Netherlands: scenarios for 2030 and 2050.
        Eur J Transp Infrastruct Res. 2017; 17: 63-85
        • Lee TB
        How startups are building driverless cars without Google's billions: driverless shuttles may be the first step toward fully self-driving cars.
        arsTechnica. Published 2018;
        • Boudway I
        • Bloomberg
        Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving taxi service, takes the slow lane to customer acquisition.
        Published 2019
        • Piao J
        • McDonald M
        • Hounsell N
        • Graindorge M
        • Graindorge T
        • Malhene N
        Public views towards implementation of automated vehicles in urban areas.
        Transp Res Procedia. 2016; 14: 2168-2177
        • Fagnant DJ
        • Kockelman KM
        Preparing a nation for autonomous vehicles: opportunities, barriers and policy recommendations.
        Transp Res A. 2015; 77: 167-181
        • Fagnant DJ
        • Kockelman KM
        Dynamic ride-sharing and fleet sizing for a system of shared autonomous vehicles in Austin, Texas.
        Transportation. 2018; 45: 143-158
        • Fleetwood J
        Public health, ethics, and autonomous vehicles.
        Am J Public Health. 2017; 107: 532-537
        • Hoogendoorn R
        • van Arerm B
        • Hoogendoom S
        Automated driving, traffic flow efficiency and human factors: literature review.
        Transp Res Rec. 2014; 2422: 113-120
        • Levin MW
        • Boyles SD
        Effects of autonomous vehicle ownership on trip, mode, and route choice.
        Transp Res Rec. 2015; 2493: 29-38
        • Milakis D
        • van Arem B
        • van Wee B
        Policy and society related implications of automated driving: a review of literature and directions for future research.
        J Intell Transp Syst. 2017; 21: 324-348
        • Anderson JM
        • Kalra N
        • Stanley KD
        • et al.
        Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers.
        RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA2016
        • Harrison A
        • Ragland DR
        Consequences of driving reduction or cessation for older adults.
        Transp Res Rec. 2003; 1843: 96-104
        • Lollar DJ
        Public health and disability: emerging opportunities.
        Public Health Rep. 2002; 117: 131-136
        • Tremblay MS
        Introducing 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years: a new paradigm gaining momentum.
        J Phys Act Health. 2020; 17: 92-95
        • Chastin SFM
        • Palarea-Albaladejo J
        • Dontje ML
        • Skelton DA
        Combined effects of time spent in physical activity, sedentary behaviors and sleep on obesity and cardio-metabolic health markers: a novel compositional data analysis approach.
        PLoS One. 2015; 10e0139984
        • Gupta N
        • Hallman DM
        • Dumuid D
        • et al.
        Movement behavior profiles and obesity: a latent profile analysis of 24-h time-use composition among Danish workers.
        Int J Obes. 2020; 44: 409-417
        • Lee EY
        • Carson V
        • Jeon JY
        • Spence JC
        • Tremblay MS
        Levels and correlates of 24-hour movement behaviors among South Koreans: results from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2014 and 2015.
        J Sport Health Sci. 2019; 8: 376-385
        • Butler GP
        • Roberts KC
        • Kropac E
        • et al.
        At-a-glance - conceptualizing a framework for the surveillance of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in Canada.
        Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2019; 39: 201-204
        • Roberts KC
        • Butler G
        • Branchard B
        • et al.
        The physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep (PASS) indicator framework.
        Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2017; 37: 252-256
        • Yun L
        • Vanderloo L
        • Berry TR
        • et al.
        Assessing the social climate of physical (in)activity in Canada.
        BMC Public Health. 2018; 18: 1301
        • Pontzer H
        Constrained total energy expenditure and the evolutionary biology of energy balance.
        Exer Sport Sci Rev. 2015; 43: 110-116
        • Shoham DA
        • Dugas LR
        • Bovet P
        • et al.
        Association of car ownership and physical activity across the spectrum of human development: Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS).
        BMC Public Health. 2015; 15: 173
        • Brownson RC
        • Boehmer TK
        • Luke DA
        Declining rates of physical activity in the United States: what are the contributors?.
        Annu Rev Public Health. 2005; 26: 421-443
        • Childress S
        • Nichols B
        • Charlton B
        • Coe S
        Using an activity-based model to explore possible impacts of automated vehicles.
        Transp Res Rec. 2015; 2493: 99-106
        • Soteropoulos A
        • Berger M
        • Ciari F
        Impacts of automated vehicles on travel behaviour and land use: an international review of modelling studies.
        Transp Reviews. 2019; 39: 29-49
        • Crayton TJ
        • Meier BM
        Autonomous vehicles: developing a public health research agenda to frame the future of transportation policy.
        J Transp Health. 2017; 6: 245-252
        • Spence JC
        • Lee RE
        Toward a comprehensive model of physical activity.
        Psychol Sport Exer. 2003; 4: 7-24
        • Owen N
        • Sugiyama T
        • Eakin EE
        • Gardiner PA
        • Tremblay MS
        • Sallis JF
        Adults’ sedentary behavior determinants and interventions.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41: 189-196
        • Panter JR
        • Jones AP
        • van Sluijs EM
        Environmental determinants of active travel in youth: a review and framework for future research.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008; 5: 34
        • Arksey H
        • O'Malley L
        Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework.
        Int J Soc Res Methodol. 2005; 8: 19-32
        • Levac D
        • Colquhoun H
        • O'Brien KK
        Scoping studies: advancing the methodology.
        Implement Sci. 2010; 5: 69
        • Tricco AC
        • Lillie E
        • Zarin W
        • et al.
        PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): checklist and explanation.
        Ann Intern Med. 2018; 169: 467-473
        • Ding D
        • Sallis JF
        • Kerr J
        • Lee S
        • Rosenberg DE
        Neighborhood environment and physical activity among youth a review.
        Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41: 442-455
        • Fraser SDS
        • Lock K
        Cycling for transport and public health: a systematic review of the effect of the environment on cycling.
        Eur J Public Health. 2011; 21: 738-743
        • Herrmann T
        • Boisjoly G
        • Ross NA
        • El-Geneidy AM
        The missing middle: filling the gap between walkability and observed walking behavior.
        Transp Res Rec. 2017; 2661: 103-110
        • McCormack GR
        • Shiell A
        In search of causality: a systematic review of the relationship between the built environment and physical activity among adults.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011; 8: 125
        • Rosso AL
        • Auchincloss AH
        • Michael YL
        The urban built environment and mobility in older adults: a comprehensive review.
        J Aging Res. 2011; 2011816106
        • Liu W
        An equilibrium analysis of commuter parking in the era of autonomous vehicles.
        Transp Res C Emerg Technol. 2018; 92: 191-207
        • Hörl S
        • Erath A
        • Axhausen KW
        Simulation of autonomous taxis in a multi-modal traffic scenario with dynamic demand.
        Arbeitsberichte Verkehrs-und Raumplanung. 2016; : 1184
        • Fraedrich E
        • Cyganski R
        • Wolf I
        • Lenz B
        User perspectives on autonomous driving: a use-case-driven study in Germany. Arbeitsberichte 187.
        Geographisches Institut, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, GermanyPublished 2016
        • Correia GHdA
        • van Arem B
        Solving the user optimum privately owned automated vehicles assignment problem (UO-POAVAP): a model to explore the impacts of self-driving vehicles on urban mobility.
        Transp Res B Methodol. 2016; 87: 64-88
        • Kröger L
        • Kuhnimhof T
        • Trommer S
        Does context matter? A comparative study modelling autonomous vehicle impact on travel behaviour for Germany and the USA.
        Transp Res A Policy Pract. 2019; 122: 146-161
        • Zhang W
        • Guhathakurta S
        • Fang J
        • Zhang G
        Exploring the impact of shared autonomous vehicles on urban parking demand: an agent-based simulation approach.
        in: Paper presented at: International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management; July 7–10, Boston, MA2015
        • Acheampong RA
        • Cugurullo F
        Capturing the behavioural determinants behind the adoption of autonomous vehicles: conceptual frameworks and measurement models to predict public transport, sharing and ownership trends of self-driving cars.
        Transp Res F Traffic Psychol Behav. 2019; 62: 349-375
        • Lu Z
        • Du R
        • Dunham-Jones E
        • Park H
        • Crittenden J
        Data-enabled public preferences inform integration of autonomous vehicles with transit-oriented development in Atlanta.
        Cities. 2017; 63: 118-127
        • Carrese S
        • Nigro M
        • Patella SM
        • Toniolo E
        A preliminary study of the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on residential location in Rome.
        Res Transp Econ. 2019; 75: 55-61
        • Meyer J
        • Becker H
        • Bösch PM
        • Axhausen KW
        Autonomous vehicles: the next jump in accessibilities?.
        Res Transp Econ. 2017; 62: 80-91
        • Gruel W
        • Stanford JM
        Assessing the long-term effects of autonomous vehicles: a speculative approach.
        Transp Res Procedia. 2016; 13: 18-29
        • Appleyard B
        • Riggs W
        10 Principles toward more sharing and less sprawl: a manifesto for street livability, health, and humanity in the era of driverless cars.
        Planetizen. Published 2018;
        Date accessed: January 27, 2020
        • Shoup DC
        The High Cost of Free Parking.
        Planners Press, Chicago, IL2005
        • Watkins SJ
        Driverless cars – advantages of not owning them: car share, active travel and total mobility.
        Proc Inst Civ Eng Munic Eng. 2018; 171: 26-30
        • Pettigrew S
        Why public health should embrace the autonomous car.
        Aust N Z J Public Health. 2017; 41: 5-7
        • Spence JC
        • Rhodes RE
        • Carson V
        Challenging the dual-hinge approach to intervening on sedentary behavior.
        Am J Prev Med. 2017; 52: 403-406
        • Xiao C
        • Goryakin Y
        • Cecchini M
        Physical activity levels and new public transit: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
        Am J Prev Med. 2019; 56: 464-473
        • Litman T
        Transportation and public health.
        Annu Rev Public Health. 2013; 34: 217-233
        • Combs TS
        • Sandt LS
        • Clamann MP
        • McDonald NC
        Automated vehicles and pedestrian safety: exploring the promise and limits of pedestrian detection.
        Am J Prev Med. 2019; 56: 1-7
      2. Synder R. Public health and equity considerations of AVs in California. Transpo Group. Accessed January 27, 2020.

        • Ryerson MS
        • Miller JE
        • Winston FK
        Edge conditions and crash-avoidance roles: the future of traffic safety in the world of autonomous vehicles.
        Inj Prev. 2019; 25: 76-79
        • Koopman P
        • Wagner M
        Autonomous vehicle safety: an interdisciplinary challenge.
        IEEE Intell Transp Syst Mag. 2017; 9: 90-96
        • Dumbaugh E
        • Li W
        Designing for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists in urban environments.
        J Am Plann Assoc. 2010; 77: 69-88
        • Raine KD
        • Muhajarine N
        • Spence JC
        • Neary NE
        • Nykiforuk CIJ
        Coming to consensus on policy to create supportive built environments and community design.
        Can J Public Health. 2012; 103: eS5-eS8
        • Downs SH
        • Black N
        The feasibility of creating a checklist for the assessment of the methodological quality both of randomised and non-randomised studies of health care interventions.
        J Epidemiol Community Health. 1998; 52: 377-384
        • Peters MDJ
        • Godfrey CM
        • Khalil H
        • McInerney P
        • Parker D
        • Soares CB
        Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews.
        Int J Evid Based Healthc. 2015; 13: 141-146