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Autonomous vehicles are cost-effective when used as taxis

Freedman, Isaac G.; Kim, Ellen; Muennig, Peter A.

Background
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will radically re-shape the health and well-being of people in the United States in good ways and bad. We set out to estimate a reasonable time-to-adoption using cost-effectivenessmodels to estimate the point at which AVs become reasonably safe and affordable for widespread adoption.


Methods
We used Waymo data (previously, Google Self-Driving Car Project) and a microsimulation model to explore projected costs and safety issues today and five years from today to get a sense of the speed of consumer adoption were AVs brought to the market.


Results
The adoption of AVs for private use was associated with an ICER of 1,396,110/QALY gained today, a figure that would decline to 173,890/QALY gained 5-years in the future. However, AV taxis are both less expensive and potentially already safer than human-piloted taxis.


Conclusions
While AVs are not unlikely to be used a family vehicles any time soon, it would make economic sense to adopt them as taxis today. Legislation enhancing the benefits while mitigating the potential harmful health impacts of AV taxis is needed with some urgency.

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Also Published In

Title
Injury Epidemiology
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-018-0153-z

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
September 28, 2018