Author(s): Sophie Jones
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CAVs (connected and automated vehicles) are poised to alter transportation and mobility by taking over the roles of driver and service provider from humans. While the fundamental motive for vehicle automation is to increase road safety and convenience, it also presents a significant opportunity to improve vehicle energy efficiency and cut emissions in the transportation sector. However, improvements in vehicle efficiency and functionality do not always equate to net favourable environmental results. At four levels of increasing complexity, we look at how CAV technology interacts with the environment: vehicle, transportation system, urban system, and society. The transportation system based on fossil fuels has a significant impact on human interactions with the environment. In 2010, transportation produced about 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions globally, accounting for 23% of total global energy-related GHG emissions.