utomated driving is one of the current hype phenomena generating widespread interest. Automated vehicles are a growing topic of discussion in both the academic and gray literature. Although fully automated vehicles are still far in the future, various levels of automation-featured vehicles are gradually gaining ground in road traffic. Impact assessment of automated driving promotes the development of automated systems and support decision-making in the field of transport. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. has studied the impacts of transport and mobility for decades, and has produced impact analyses with a broad scope in this field. The impact assessment of automated driving has recently seen further developments; this thesis continues the work and expands it to the themes of health and quality of life.
This thesis aimed to explore the impacts of transport and mobility on individuals' health and perceived quality of life and, further, to exploit the findigs under the domain of automated driving. One of the main objectives was to identify potential pathways of action from the introduction of automated driving to its health implications. The study was conducted in three phases: First, a review was done of the extant literature. Second, a conceptual framework for transport and its implications for health and quality of life was constructed with the help of a literature study and insights from specialists in diverse fields of health and transport. Third, the framework and supporting literature were used to formulate the potential pathways of action mentioned above. Finally, the results were discussed in a work group to ensure the validity and reliability of the results. The thesis process was iterative; i.e. the results from the literature and specialist interviews were utilized throughout the work right from the start.
This thesis has three key results. First, it provides a comprehensive and worthwhile overview of the concepts of health and quality of life in the context of transport and mobility, which can be used to support future discussion and research. The second key result is the illustrative conceptual framework, which provides insights into transport and its health implications. Finally, potential pathways from the introduction of automated driving to its impacts on health and quality of life are presented. Understanding these pathways to impact will not only support further development and decision-making; it will also help pinpoint future topics of research. One of these will be assessing the direction and magnitude of the potential impacts of automated driving.
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