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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Definition and Evaluation of Bus and Truck Automation Operations Concepts: Final Report

  • Author(s): Taso, H. S. Jacob
  • Botha, Jan L.
  • et al.

Traffic congestion will continue to worsen and likely worsen at a faster rate than ever. People throughput and freight throughput have become critical issues for California and the rest of the nation. PATH has funded a research project entitled Definition And Evaluation of Bus And Truck Automation Operations Concepts, proposed by the authors. This report summarizes the major findings of the research project. During the one-year project, we reviewed literature and developed operating concepts for both urban bus automation and inter-city truck automation. We also selected a small number of most promising operating concepts for urban bus automation and inter-city truck automation, both with variations and intermediate steps. On urban bus automation, we selected one unprotected automated busway system (ABUS) for city operations and two operating concepts for automated bus operations on or along a freeway. All or a subset of these three concepts can be integrated to form other operating concepts. On truck automation, we selected two operating concepts for a protected inter-city truck-AHS. These concepts describe how automated systems involving buses or trucks operate as a system and how they interact with the surrounding transportation systems. These systems, if implemented, will revolutionize the current bus or truck transportation systems. They certainly cannot be achieved suddenly, and hence can be regarded as end-state systems. Since these endstate operating concepts are intended for real-world implementation and such implementation requires the participation of many stakeholders, any creditable end-state operation concept must be accompanied by and even justified with credible deployment sequences. We developed deployment sequences for these operating concepts to demonstrate the deployability of these concepts and to explain how to get there from here. We developed schematic descriptions for these concepts as well as their conventional counterparts. We also identified major benefit-cost elements that distinguish these concepts from their conventional counterparts.

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