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

      Context

      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.

      Conclusions

      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.
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