Emerging opportunities for wildlife with sustainable autonomous transportation

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Inês Silva , Justin M. Calabrese


Autonomous vehicles (AV) are expected to play a key role in the future of transportation, and to introduce a disruptive yet potentially beneficial change for wildlife-vehicle interactions. How-ever, this assumption has not been critically examined, and reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) may be beyond current technological capabilities. Here, we introduce a new conceptual framework covering the intersection between AV technology and wildlife conservation to reduce WVCs. We propose an integrated framework for developing robust warning systems and animal detection methods for AV systems, and incorporating wildlife-vehicle interactions into decision-making algorithms. With large-scale AV deployment a looming reality, it is vital to incorporate conservation and sustainability into the societal, ethical, and legal implications of AV technology. We intend our framework to help ecologists and conservationists foster the necessary interdisciplinary collaborations with AV developers and policymakers to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions and concomitant biodiversity loss.




Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sustainability


animal-vehicle collisions, automated vehicles, conservation, roadkill, self-driving cars, sustainability, traffic accidents, wildlife-vehicle collisions


Published: 2021-09-29 13:26

Last Updated: 2023-02-06 05:05

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CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International