automated vehicles

here is a narrow window to shape the spread of AVs. Self-driving technology will spread much more quickly than the automobile did in the 20th century. Cities could fall behind in the blink of an eye.

At the same time, automation is also changing the automobile–mostly in ways that will help. Cities have long struggled with the car’s demands for space. But AVs can be designed for many more forms and functions, creating new opportunities to right-size vehicles for urban use.

This means the driverless revolution is a profound opportunity for cities to press the reset button. Act wisely, and they can move away from poor transportation choices of the past. Fail to act and they could fall behind in the blink of an eye.

But where do we start? What technologies, companies, and services are in the pipeline? Whom do they benefit and whom could they harm? How can cities prepare for their arrival and even shape their development?

For a decade, we’ve built a network of research partners in government, industry, academia, and the philanthropy to help us understand the fast, multi-sector shifts at play in the driverless revolution. Our work seeks to help cities demonstrate how the fundamental flexibility of AVs can be harnesses for sustainable, human-centered urban innovations.

recent work


Illustrated Scenarios. In summer 2018, we published a set of six scenarios showcasing how a variety of vehicle types and services will transform urban mobility–beyond just the passenger cars and taxis talked about today.

Photo: Dash Marshall, Jacket Design: MightCould

Briefing Book. In 2017, we developed an illustrated print booklet as a primer for cities working with the Bloomberg Philanthropies on long-term planning for AVs.

Web design: Push the Red Button

Web Atlas. During 2018, we tracked the planning and launch of AV pilots in more than 100 cities around the world, highlighting key strategies and challenges.


Book Chapter. We contributed a chapter to a landmark book published by the London School of Economics highlighted how cities and automated vehicle technologies are reshaping each other, and the ancient cultural narratives that will shape policy, planning, and markets over the coming decades.


Mobility Scenarios. Re-programming Mobility, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, presented 4 original illustrated scenarios highlighting how new and emerging digital innovations in transportation could spur long-term shifts in mobility, land use, and planning. These scenarios were based on a variety of expert insights and situated in four U.S. cities.

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