Self-Driving Cars Will Change Cities

19 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2015

See all articles by Roman Zakharenko

Roman Zakharenko

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: October 29, 2015


The effects of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on urban forms are modeled and analyzed. Vehicles are used for commute between peripheral home and central work, and require space for day parking. An advantage of AVs is that they can return home for day parking, relieving central land for other uses. Lowered AV costs increase the mass of their users at the expense of traditional commuters and non-commuters. Worker welfare increases, land rents decrease, cities become smaller, but at least some groups of commuters have to travel longer distances. Potential modifications of the model are discussed, in which AVs cause expansion rather than contraction of cities.

Keywords: Self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles, commute, parking, urban forms

JEL Classification: D61, O18, R41, R49

Suggested Citation

Zakharenko, Roman, Self-Driving Cars Will Change Cities (October 29, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Roman Zakharenko (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

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