Scientists develop a conceptual model to identify health impacts of autonomous vehicles

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Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Oct 16 2020
Autonomous vehicles (AV) are the wave of the future in the automobile industry, and there’s extensive discussion about the impacts on transportation, society, the economy and the environment.

However, less attention has been focused on the potential health impacts of self-driving vehicles.

Texas A&M University researchers have developed a conceptual model to identify these health impacts systematically.

They identified 32 transportation-related risk factors that affected health and concluded that 17 could negatively impact public health, while eight could have a positive impact. There were seven areas of uncertain implications that require further investigation.

The researchers recently published their findings in the December issue of Sustainable Cities and Society.


A survey on the receptiveness of autonomous vehicles’ impacts showed that there is a lack of awareness of the potential health impacts of AVs and low perceptions of the importance of AV health benefits. On the other hand, there are some unintended consequences of AVs’ implementation that need to be studied before AVs find their way onto the road.”

Soheil Sohrabi, Doctoral Student, Zachry Department, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Graduate Researcher, Texas A&M Transportation Institute


Sohrabi, with Dr. Dominque Lord, professor in the department …

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