Autonomous driving (AD) and other automation technologies are rapidly approaching the market and could alter practically every structural aspect of household life. Given that 70% of the American population lives in suburban areas, AD will most likely have their greatest impact in these zones, outside the reaches of established mass-transit systems, where personal vehicular transport is the most ubiquitous. As planning research has shown, urban land area in the developing world is likely to triple or quadruple by 2050 (while population doubles). Cheaper and more accessible transportation options are a key driver of this global growth, 90%+ of which will occur in the developing world. The AD revolution could potentially reduce the congestion strain that clogs these growing suburban areas, smoothing traffic, right-sizing mobility choices, and reducing the number of vehicles needed. This proposal envisions suburbs with autonomous vehicles that will become an applicable model in both retrofit scenarios and newly designed/developed areas.

How will society, urbanization, and environmental relationships change in response to the newfound freedom of movement enabled through AD mobility, specifically in the suburban fabrics of global metropolitan regions. In current suburban areas, access to transit for people with disabilities, the elderly, and lower socio-economic status is very limited. In the U.S. alone, analysts expect over 31 million households with some form of disability by 2035.

As part of this long-term project the P-REX team has developed software called OASIS, is a python-based suite of tools for use in the Grasshopper programming environment (within Rhinoceros3D) to explore different geometric land use combinations. Another is MIRAGE, a block scale design tool for optimizing aspects discovered in the OASIS workflow, including many environmental performance metrics.

Software and Public Website to launch in 2022

Project Sponsors:

2008-2022 Toyota Research Institute of North America

2018-2022 Toyota Mobility Foundation


Alan Berger's NGAS essay pp. 30-38 in

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