Autonomous vehicles and future urban environments: Exploring changing travel behaviours, built environments, and implications for wellbeing in an ageing society

Curl, Angela; Fitt, Helen; Dionisio-McHugh, Rita; Ahuriri-Driscoll, Annabel; Fletcher, Amy; Slaughter, Hayden

Abstract – Tuhinga Whakarāpopoto

It has been widely claimed that autonomous vehicles will support the mobility of older adults. However, complex interactions between demographics, transport systems, the built environment, and health and wellbeing mean that outcomes are far from certain. Policy makers need to decide what outcomes they want from mobility futures and to identify how best to achieve those outcomes with the resources available and within constraints. This report focuses on how possible changes to transport systems might influence travel behaviour and urban environments. It looks at the implications for an ageing society and for older adults. It also provides background information on New Zealand’s ageing population and on generational differences in travel behaviour.

Other reports associated with this research

Fitt, H., Curl, A., Dionisio-McHugh, R., Fletcher, A., Frame, B., & Ahuriri-Driscoll, A. (2018). Think Piece: Autonomous vehicles and future urban environments: Exploring implications for wellbeing in an ageing society (Second ed.). Christchurch: BBHTC.

Fitt, H., Frame, B., Fletcher, A., Curl, A., Dionisio-McHugh, R., Ahuriri-Driscoll, A., Baldwin, N. & Hadfield, H. (2018). Four plausible scenarios for transport in New Zealand in 2048. Christchurch: BBHTC.

Fletcher, A., Fitt, H., Baldwin, N., Hadfield, H., & Curl, A. (2018). Initial scan of policy / issues relevant to autonomous vehicle development and deployment. Christchurch: BBHTC.

Keywords – Kupu Hāngai

Automation, urban transportation, Shared Autonomous Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, transport, cars, mobility, commuting, ageing, mobility for ageing

Fields of Research – Āpure Rangahau

Transport; Urban/Spatial Planning; Age and Aging


Date – Te Wā Whakarewa



Type – Te Auaha


Citation – Kupu Hautoa

Haarhoff, E., Beattie, L., & Dupuis, A. (2016). Does higher density housing enhance liveability? Case studies of housing intensification in Auckland. Cogent Social Sciences, 2(1), 1243289.