Public transit, in-state air travel likely to decrease with autonomous car deployment in California

Cars that can drive themselves without a human behind the wheel are still years away, but California is beginning to look at their emissions implications. This week, the Air Resources Board presented new research on how autonomous vehicles might affect the state’s ambitious clean air goals, and the early indications do not look good.

So-called connected and automated vehicles, or CAVs, that can drive themselves and communicate with one another are likely to increase vehicle miles traveled and reduce people’s willingness to use public transit, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis Three Revolutions Future Mobility Program, which researches shared, automated and electric vehicles.