Autonomous vehicles impacts on quality of urban life: A review

Ulu İ. M., Erdin H. E.

MEGARON, vol.18, no.2, pp.202-217, 2023 (ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/megaron.2023.80217
  • Journal Name: MEGARON
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Avery, EBSCO Education Source, ERIHPlus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.202-217
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Developing technology and changing lifestyles also change the expectations of the citizens from the quality of urban life (QOUL). However, today, the automobile-oriented transportation system causes a decrease in the QOUL, especially in crowded cities, due to some reasons such as traffic congestion, high individual vehicle ownership, lack of parking lots, number of accidents, loss of time in traffic, and air and noise pollution. Transportation is one of the indicators that directly and indirectly affect the QOUL. Transportation, which is sensitive to technology, can also directly affect urban space and affect mobility and accessibility in the city. In this context, new technologies such as autonomous vehicles (AV) can lead to significant changes in urban space, human behavior, and QOUL. Once these vehicles are launched, they can affect our lives in many ways: transportation, environment, urbanization, social, economic, and legal. This makes AVs a part of the social debate. Although there are many studies in the literature examining how AVs will affect the fields of transportation, environment, economy, and law, there are very limited studies on how AVs will affect the QOUL. Based on a literature review of the relationship between AVs and QOUL, this study aims to predict how AVs will affect QOUL. According to the findings, it has been observed that AVs will positively affect the QOUL life when they are operated with car sharing/ride-sharing, using electricity, and when they are integrated with public transportation. However, AVs can lead to congested and polluted complex urban centers, suburbanization, extrainfrastructure investment, and cyber threats. According to the study findings, the effects of these vehicles on the QOUL vary depending on the policies applied, the social acceptability of the vehicles, the preparation of the infrastructure, and the market share. With the right policies, know-how, and appropriate infrastructure, AVs can be an opportunity to improve the causes that reduce the QOUL in today’s cities.