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Effects of Green Streetscape Design on Autonomous Vehicle Navigation

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Title: Effects of Green Streetscape Design on Autonomous Vehicle Navigation
Author: Plato, Courtney
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Corry, Robert
Abstract: Twentieth century North American streetscapes were auto-oriented, with extensive impervious surfaces, decreasing vegetation, and devoid of desirable pedestrian activity. Emerging public design policies are trying to counteract these negative trends. The advancing technological development of the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) could re-direct the previous momentum of streetscape design, for better or worse. This study aims to explore some of the strategies used to make streetscapes greener, and their interactions with AVs. The goal is to assess whether these “green” strategies help, or hinder, the navigational abilities of the vehicle. Illustrated 2D and 3D dynamic streetscape demonstrations are assessed through online questionnaires distributed to AV experts. Tree canopy coverage is identified as the most concerning element for AV navigation. The results from this study can help landscape architects, urban designers and AV researchers consider how designed elements can lead to safer and more-sustainable streetscapes.
Date: 2019-05
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