Dash Marshall




Bloomberg Philanthropies and Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation

Joint venture with:

Bits and Atoms


Might, Could (Graphic Design)

Push the Red Button (Code)

Kristin Boydstun (Illustration)

Nick Iluzada (Illustration)

Studio Muti (Illustration)

We built a set of scenarios for autonomous vehicles that balance human needs with systemic opportunities and market realities.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will transform cities, but how? Will AV manufacturers and private actors run roughshod over local government? Will Governments overreact and attempt to severely constrain technology on their streets? What are the potential upsides if local government works to actively shape the deployment of AVs?

Our scenarios combine technological opportunity, human need, and governmental/market reality to bring a pro-urban AV future to life. Building off the extensive research conducted as part of our Primer and Global Atlas of AVs we explored the possibilities across a range of vehicle types, from small deliverybots up to buses. We complimented the technological perspective with a focus on human needs and experiences by examining AV possibilities through the eyes of residents represented by a ‘focus group from the future.’ Our emerging hypotheses were then road-tested against the policy priorities and realities of governing, using the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative’s cohort of ten global cities as a wellspring of perspective on these topics.


In each of six scenarios we show how the technology could meaningfully change everyday life as well as exploring the systemic, economic, and governmental implications.

Solution to System

Atlas screenshot Atlas screenshot

Interested in Autonomous Vehicles? Also see Taming the Autonomous Vehicles, our consolidated primer on AVs.

Atlas screenshot

The Atlas was launched at CityLab 2017 in Paris. Photo courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies.