Thinking about the future of autonomous vehicles

Volume 3, Issue 2
April 2021
By James Meadowcroft, Cameron Roberts

Should we support the rapid introduction of autonomous vehicles in the hope that they will unlock changes in the mobility system that facilitate more low-carbon travel? Or should we be more cautious on the grounds that autonomous vehicles might make things worse? This paper explores this question, using a detailed review of the academic literature on autonomous vehicles.

About the Authors

James Meadowcroft, PhD

Transition Pathway Principal

James Meadowcroft, PhD, is professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University where he has held a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Governance for Sustainable Development. He has written widely on environmental politics and policy, democratic participation and deliberative democracy, national sustainable development strategies and socio-technical transitions. Recent work focuses on energy and the transition to a low-carbon society and includes publications on carbon capture and storage (CCS), smart grids, the development of Ontario’s electricity system, the politics of socio-technical transitions and negative carbon emissions.


Cite as: Roberts, C. and Meadowcroft, J, 2021. Thinking about the future of autonomous vehicles: Climate impacts and the case for directed disruption. Transition Accelerator Reports Vol. 3, Issue 2, Pg. 1-50. ISSN 2562-6264.

Cover Image: (accessed March 2021).