Development and transport implications of automated vehicles in the Netherlands: scenarios for 2030 and 2050
Automated driving technology is emerging. Yet, little is known in the literature about when automated vehicles will reach the market, how penetration rates will evolve and to what extent this new transport technology will affect transport demand and planning. This study uses scenario analysis to identify plausible future development paths of automated vehicles in the Netherlands and to estimate potential implications for traffic, travel behaviour and transport planning on a time horizon up to 2030 and 2050. The scenario analysis was performed through a series of three workshops engaging a group of diverse experts. Sixteen key factors and five driving forces behind them were identified as critical in determining future development of automated vehicles in the Netherlands. Four scenarios were constructed assuming combinations of high or low technological development and restrictive or supportive policies for automated vehicles (AV …in standby, AV …in bloom, AV …in demand, AV …in doubt). According to the scenarios, fully automated vehicles are expected to be commercially available between 2025 and 2045, and to penetrate the market rapidly after their introduction. Penetration rates are expected to vary among different scenarios between 1% and 11% (mainly conditionally automated vehicles) in 2030 and between 7% and 61% (mainly fully automated vehicles) in 2050. Complexity of the urban environment and unexpected incidents may influence development path of automated vehicles. Certain implications on mobility are expected in all scenarios, although there is great variation in the impacts among the scenarios. Measures to curb growth of travel and subsequent externalities are expected in three out of the four scenarios.