Three Revolutions | Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future

Washington, DC (January 10, 2022)—Transportation is on the cusp of revolutionary change. With electric, automated, and shared vehicles no longer imaginings of a distant future, we have the potential to create a dream transportation system: one that reduces traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, increases accessibility and affordability, and creates healthier, more livable cities. But this scenario is not guaranteed. How we guide these transportation revolutions will determine if they change our lives and communities for the better—or for the worse.

In Three Revolutions (Publication Date: March 1, 2022) transportation expert Daniel Sperling and his coauthors share timely guidance and make policy recommendations to steer these revolutions toward a sustainable, livable, and equitable future. As ridesharing services like UberPool and Lyft Line gain popularity, electric vehicle technology advances, and automated vehicles are tested on streets around the world, Sperling offers research-based insights on the potential impacts of the three revolutions and the need to consider the revolutions together.

Three revolutions cover

Many factors will influence the impacts of the three revolutions, and it will be up to federal, state, and local policymakers to guide these changes towards the public’s interest. Three Revolutions explores the impact of potential policies through best and worst case scenarios and identifies policy goals in four key categories: user incentives, pooling and electric vehicles, equity and transit, and land use. Although the three revolutions will work in tandem, Sperling identifies pooling as the key to unlocking our dream transportation scenario.

The book delves into critical questions, including: Will travelers share rides and eschew car ownership? Will automation make transportation safer, cheaper, and faster? How can mobility companies and transit agencies adapt? Chapters offer specific policy recommendations for all levels of government, including: giving pooled vehicles special parking privileges at airports and other congested areas; requiring ridehailing services to allow prepaid debit cards for those without credit cards; converting government fleets to EVs as vehicles are replaced; imposing disincentives for zero-occupancy or single-occupancy AVs in downtowns; and more.

Sperling and his coauthors acknowledge the potential for the three revolutions to increase urban sprawl and widen the gap between haves and have-nots, yet Sperling remains “more optimistic than ever before” about the future of transportation. As he writes, “We can be ostriches with buried heads and hope that disinterest, disengagement, and the normal workings of the marketplace will somehow turn out well. Or we can apply our best thinking to harness vehicle electrification, mobility sharing, and automation to create better cities, a livable planet, and a future that serves us all.”

This book is for anyone who cares about transportation, cities, the environment, and the social well-being of our communities.

Daniel Sperling is founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis and co-director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis. He is a distinguished professor of civil and environmental engineering and environmental science and policy at UC Davis, and is a member of the influential California Air Resources Board. Other collaborators include: Anne Brown, Robin Chase, Michael J. Dunne, Steven E. Polzin, Susan Shaheen, Brian D. Taylor, and Levi Tillemann.

Founded in 1984, Island Press works to stimulate, shape, and communicate the information that is essential for solving environmental problems. Today, with more than 1,000 titles in print and some 30 new releases each year, it is the nation’s leading publisher of books on environmental issues. Island Press is driving change by moving ideas from the printed page to public discourse and practice. Island Press’s emphasis is, and will continue to be, on transforming objective information into understanding and action. For more information and further updates be sure to visit

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