Autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent while VMT increases by 23 percent by 2040.

Analytical framework to systematically quantify the fuel consumption impacts of autonomous vehicles.

Nationwide; United States

Summary Information

This paper describes an analytical framework to systematically quantify the fuel consumption impact of automation and autonomous vehicles by incorporating a vehicle stock and usage model with a national VMT and historical travel speed database. The vehicle stock and usage model considers changes of VMT per vehicle from different model years and fuel economy improvements between model years.


Compared to the No Autonomous Vehicles scenario, automation could reduce fuel consumption as market share for Autonomous Vehicles increases. When the new car sales share of Autonomous Vehicles reaches 100 percent in 2040, fuel consumption is reduced by 15 percent. By 2040, VMT is expected to increase by 23 percent.

Additional analyses were conducted to identify optimistic and pessimistic or best and worst-case scenarios. The optimistic scenario finds a 35 percent reduction in fuel consumption and the pessimistic scenario finds a potential 30 percent increase in fuel consumption compared to the base scenario.

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Quantifying autonomous vehicles national fuel consumption impacts: A data-rich approach

Author: Chen, Yuche et al.

Published By: Transportation Research Part A

Source Date: 11/06/2017



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AV, autonomous, automation, fuel consumption, environmental benefits

Benefit ID: 2017-01205