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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Framework for Evaluating the Economic Viability of Autonomous Vehicles

  • Author(s): Yamada, Kotaro
  • Advisor(s): Recker, Wilfred W
  • et al.

This research aims to develop a framework investigating the viability of autonomous vehicles (AVs) in an urban area that enables multiple travel ways that potentially compete or coordinate with them. Based on the Household Activity Pattern Problem (HAPP) developed by Recker (1995), this research attempts to simulate travel-activity patterns with AVs by reformulating the original HAPP model. The revised framework succeeds in assessing the condition under which AVs can be advantageous over conventional vehicles (CVs) for a hypothetical household. It explicitly captures AVs' zero-occupancy trips and searching behavior for parking spots leading to the increase in vehicle travel miles. Finally, this research extends the formulation of HAPP to be capable of simulating multimodal transportation systems. In addition to conventional private vehicles and AVs, various private modes, rideshare (taxi), and public transit are incorporated into the framework. This extension distinguishes the framework from other activity-based models in depicting the coordination or competition between AVs and other modes. Thus, this framework shows that the availabilities of other transportation modes, as well as AVs' costs and households preferences, will affect households' decisions to embrace AVs. The results of this research imply that the proposed framework potentially serves as the demand-side component in an operational system for innovative transportation services such as Mobility as a Service.

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