What Does the Future of Automated Driving Mean for Public Transportation?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, planning - integration, planning - surveys


Public transportation (PT), automated driving (AD), sustainable cities


Public transportation (PT) in combination with other active transportation modes is the key to sustainable cities and a solution against congestion and air pollution. Faced with increasing competition from the private sector and the upcoming technology of automated driving (AD), an acute challenge is ensuring a robust future perspective for PT. There is little research thus far on how AD might affect PT, how it addresses the challenges PT and municipalities face, and how the integration of such vehicles into existing systems can be achieved in the best possible way. In this article, we seek to address this research gap and present the results of a comparative study on stakeholder acceptance and requirements of AD in PT. We aim to find out and relate what various stakeholders (users, local authorities, and PT providers), consider relevant as regards AD in PT to derive hints for favorable applications of AD in PT, and discuss recommendable future development pathways for PT. We applied a qualitative research approach. The study entailed participatory survey instruments and was conducted in two German cities in 2017. Its two-step concept entailed a general discussion as well as identifying specific requirements in the context of three systematically developed use cases that are described in the paper. From the comparative results of the perspectives of users, providers, and municipalities we conclude how different use case types comply with the stakeholder perspectives and discuss what favorable use cases and pathways of PT could look like.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.