Towards an Autonomous World: Making Sense of the Potential Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles
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Planning as a profession covers many different facets even though the traditional role of a planner is thought of as dealing with land use and zoning. Taking this narrow view of planning misses many of the roles planners perform. One important role planners can have is that of an informer and consensus builder. By using the broad array of skills that planners have, a planner can help policymakers and the citizenry understand the impacts certain changes will have on the built environment and society. Further, planners can help develop a vision for embracing change while limiting the negative impacts of change. This paper will seek to inform planners, policymakers, and the public about the potential benefits and impacts autonomous vehicles will have on the urban environment and society in the coming decades. This paper will lay a foundation for the issues planners and policymakers should begin to consider when deciding whether or not to embrace autonomous vehicles.