Project at a Glance

Title: Emissions Impact of Connected and Automated Vehicle Deployment in California

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Circella, Giovanni

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 17RD003

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impacts, Mobile Sources & Fuels, Sustainable Communities

Research Summary:

The transportation sector is undergoing a rapid transformation towards connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). This transformation could result in a variety of outcomes, including several that would result in serious negative environmental and social impacts, such as the possibility that CAVs will spur an increase in light-duty vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and more dispersed land use development due to falling travel costs, zero-occupancy or dead-heading abilities for CAVs, and the ability for CAV occupants to engage in other activities while they travel. These outcomes would make it more difficult for California to meet its air quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals. Thus, it is important for California agencies and policymakers to identify and understand policies that will help the state avoid and/or mitigate these potential outcomes. To inform proactive policy development, this project will develop realistic scenarios that reflect the many possible aspects of future CAV penetration, and will quantify the associated energy usage, VMT, and GHG and criteria pollutant emissions outcomes. This project will inform the next generation of Advanced Clean Cars regulations and policies related to Senate Bill 375, among others.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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