Dynamics in Behavioral Adaptation to a Transportation Innovation: A Case Study of Carlink–A Smart Carsharing System

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Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD

Published: December 1999


Most trips in U.S. metropolitan regions are drive-alone car trips, an expensive and inefficient means of moving people. A more efficient system would allow drivers to share cars. Such a system is often less convenient for travelers, but convenience can be enhanced by deploying “smart” technologies in concert with shared-use vehicles and transit.

The motivation for this research is to determine how the use of information and communication technologies can enhance flexibility and mobility—and what value travelers will place on these new transportation means. My dissertation, using new survey research methods, examines CarLink, a smart carsharing service designed and deployed under my direction. This dissertation integrates social marketing and learning theories with human activity analysis approaches to explain the processes by which travelers can and might accept a transportation innovation. I focus on methods of presentation and learning to examine response dynamics. To explain the CarLink system to consumers, I developed several informational media: a brochure, video, and “trial” clinic.



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December 7, 1999