Ride the Autonomous City Logo

Self-driving vehicles will change urban mobility.
How will they impact bicycle use?

The impact of autonomous vehicles on urban cycling isn't well understood.

Road traffic can be stressful for people who ride bikes. The level of road traffic stress has been shown to impact an individual’s cycling comfort level. Tests of autonomous vehicles in cities could add to this stress and may impact bicycle user behaviour. Ride the Autonomous City aims to understand what some of the implications may be for different ages and abilities of bicycle users when autonomous vehicles are more widely used and as people begin to interact with them more often in their daily lives.

Thinking outside the box

A lot of AV research is concerned with occupant sentiment. Ride the Autonomous City is primarily concerned with non-occupant sentiment.

Understanding attitudes

Bicycle user attitudes towards AVs may differ from attitudes towards conventional vehicles and impact bicycle use. Individuals often have attitudes towards their transportation choice developed over time.

Applying a lens of traffic stress

Bicycle travel behaviour is significantly influenced by sense of comfort and safety that depends on the infrastructure extended to them and the level of traffic stress in these environments.

Design of infrastructure

The layout of streets and configuration of cycle facilities are key to ensuring all ages and abilities feel comfortable. Given attitudes around cycling with AVs, what kind of infrastructure is most conducive to cycling in the autonomous city?

What is a 'cyclist'?

The term 'cyclist' sometimes evokes a specific and narrow view of what a bicycle user is. In many cases, an image of a recreational, sportive individual comes to mind. This preconception excludes a majority of individuals who know how to and are interested in riding a bicycle for their everyday transport needs.

Many different people of different ages and abilities are interested to bicycle but have been excluded from urban cycling because of what many consider to be a cyclist and what a bicycle user’s infrastructure needs are. By taking a narrow view, this negates the positive impact of population-level bicycle use. This research aims to garner data from all types of bicycle users to make urban cycling with AVs more inclusive.

Cyclists and autonomous vehicles at odds: Can the Transport Oppression Cycle be Broken in the Era of Artificial Intelligence?

Open Forum Paper Published in AI & Society

Co-determining Urban Mobility Futures with Bicycle User Data from Living Labs with Autonomous Vehicles

Presentation at the American Association of Geographpers 23 March 2023

Hi, I'm Alex.

Alex is a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin researching autonomous vehicles and cycling. He holds a Master's of Science in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and a Bachelor's of Urban and Regional Planning from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Alex has a background working in the public sector with City of Calgary’s Green Line LRT program and at Auckland Transport on the New Public Transport Network. He has also worked in a consultant capacity on urban planning, transportation demand management, and geospatial analysis projects in Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Get in touch

For additional information, collaboration opportunities, or to be kept up-to-date, please inquire below.

  • Address

    Museum Building
    Trinity College Dublin
    College Green
    Dublin 2
  • Phone

    +353 1 896 1000 Ext. 2357