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Planning for Autonomous Vehicles: A People-Centred Approach

Learn how autonomous vehicles can improve urban mobility, and how good town planning can ensure they do just that.

Generic autonomous car displayed at an exhibition.

Planning for Autonomous Vehicles: A People-Centred Approach

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Successfully incorporate autonomous vehicles into sustainable urban planning

For sustainable future cities, the way people use and move around urban spaces must be reviewed. The town planning done now will have massive impacts on city dwellers’ quality of life in the years to come.

This four-week course will explore how autonomous vehicles should be incorporated into sustainable urban planning. Its people-centred approach helps to ensure the systems are adopted, ultimately creating eco-friendly urban mobility for a greener tomorrow.

Discover the potential of autonomous vehicles

You’ll see what self-driving vehicles are capable of, beyond the hype. The training material will show you how to critically evaluate what the ‘automotive revolution’ promises for future cities and what, based on the technology, we can actually expect.

Let people determine the focus of sustainable transportation

The central idea of this course is that for clean, sustainable transportation systems to be successful, they need to meet people’s needs and be easy to use.

Once you’ve understood the potential capabilities of automated vehicles, you’ll get to apply that knowledge to typical town planning challenges.

Mobility requirements, general acceptance of new urban planning policies and transport systems, and other key obstacles will be explored.

Learn from transport systems experts dedicated to green cities

EIT Urban Mobility focuses on changing the way people move around and interact with cities, to make them more livable. With equal dedication to human societies and the environment, EIT Urban Mobility experts will show you how to improve both with automated transport.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Bern Grush: The average European owns 0.6 cars and the average American owns 0.8. This tells us that personal vehicle ownership is currently highly popular. However, we also know that ownership increases vehicle kilometres travelled, and that creates congestion and land use problems. This course is about treating vehicle automation as a tool to create the cities, neighbourhoods and environments that we want for our future. We should be asking ourselves, what can the automated vehicle do for our cities? If we want cities with fewer cars then we need to make it highly attractive, not to own a vehicle. To do that involves understanding all the reasons private vehicles are preferred.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds It also involves designing for human mobility, matters such as walkable neighbourhoods, removing parking minimums, preferences for active transportation, Robo taxi only zones, and car free downtown’s. Only when active and or public transportation is enough for our daily activities, on most days, can private ownership be significantly reduced. We know technology, including automated vehicles could, with the right governance and planning, help us achieve greater levels of livability. Automation for people centred cities


  • Week 1

    Will automation be different?

    • Introduction

      Europeans own 0.57 cars and Americans own 0.82 cars per person. Personal vehicle ownership is currently highly popular. We also know that ownership increases vehicle km-travelled, which creates congestion and land-use problems.

    • Toolkit for the city planner

      In order to move to a city which incorporates automation, the city planner must understand these crucial elements. Think of them as your automation toolkit!

    • Core concepts of AV

      Autonomous vehicles are complex concepts, even the name itself is contentious! This section will cover some of the core concepts and definitions required to understand AVs and our interaction with them.

  • Week 2


    • Designing in stages

      Implementing automation in a city can not be a rushed decision, it requires careful consideration of factors such as convenience, sprawl, and the future impact of the digital revolution.

    • Planning for what should happen

      This segment considers claims about safety, driving features, and technical competence that indicate an improved automobile.

    • What can we really say about the future

      Everything you read and hear has an opinion or prediction for the future of automation. But how much of this is actually just hype?

  • Week 3


    • Truths about automation

      Automated personal ownership vehicles are in reality further off than car manufacturers would like to admit and there are many issues still to address.

    • Automated, Connected, Electric, Shared

      ACES is at the core of effective AV implementation but its deployment comes with its own barriers and challenges.

  • Week 4


    • Enabling ACES through zoning

      Enabling ACES requires a rethink of the way we use the spaces in our cities. One such way to reduce car numbers and increase opportunities for ACES and AVs is to consider zero car-ownership and zoned areas.

    • Zero car-ownership communities

      A detailed look at the core components of a zero car-ownership community to facilitate ACES core principles.

    • Summary

      Planning for autonomous or more likely automated vehicles requires the city planner to consider people first. It is possible to facilitate AVs in our communities but it needs careful consideration.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Critique reports and claims related to automated vehicles and other forms of “new mobility”
  • Describe human, social and urban factors in planning decision making, in contrast to technical factors
  • Reflect on potential second- and third-order impacts of the deployment of AVs
  • Develop a city plan outline, including plan staging, toward your stated end goals

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested or involved in sustainable transport systems. Urban mobility and town planning professionals will find it especially beneficial.

Who will you learn with?

Passionate about innovations for livability from human-social and complex-systems perspective. Innovator/entrepreneur for automated transit. Focussed on Human Factors and Systems Design Engineering.

Who developed the course?

EIT Urban Mobility

EIT Urban Mobility is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Since January 2019 we have been working to encourage positive changes in the way people move around cities in order to make them more liveable places. We aim to become the largest European initiative transforming urban mobility. Co-funding of up to € 400 million (2020-2026) from the EIT, a body of the European Union, will help make this happen.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 9 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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