Tao Tao and Professor Jason Cao Author Paper on Owning Autonomous Vehicles
May 28, 2022

Humphrey School PhD candidate Tao Tao and Professor Jason Cao published the paper, “Examining
motivations for owning autonomous vehicles: Implications for land use and transportation
,” in the Journal
of Transport Geography. This work was funded by a Smart and Connected Communities grant from the
National Science Foundation.

Using regional travel survey data from the Twin Cities, the authors applied the gradient boosting
decision tree method to test three hypotheses (diffusion of innovation, efficiency, and modal
substitution) underlying the relationships between respondents' interest in owning autonomous
vehicles (AVs) and correlates. This study showed that the innovation-diffusion hypothesis dominates the
motivations for owning AVs, followed by preference for efficiency and then modal substitution.

However, the associations with built environment variables suggest more of a preference for efficiency
than of diffusion of innovation and modal substitution. Population density, road connectivity, and land
use entropy are negatively associated with the interest. The results provide suggestions to address the
externalities of AVs in different geographical areas.