Automated Vehicles, On-Demand Mobility and Environmental Impacts

Authors: Jeffery Greenblatt, Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: July 2015 Abstract: We review the history, current developments, projected future trends and environmental impacts of automated vehicles (AVs) and on-demand mobility, and explore potential synergies. Many automobile manufacturers and Google plan to release AVs between 2017 and 2020, with potential benefits including increased safety, more efficient road use, increased driver productivity and energy savings. Estimates of AV energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions range from an ~80 % or greater decrease to a threefold increase; however, we argue that net decreases are likely. On-demand mobility services exist in many cities around the world, with advances in mobile technology increasing their popularity. On-demand mobility can provide numerous transportation, land use, and environmental and social benefits, and users tend to decrease both vehicle ownership and annual vehicle distances traveled. Combining on-demand mobility and AVs may amplify adoption of both, and further lower energy use and GHG emissions through the use of small, efficient shared AVs. View...

Just A Better Taxi? A Survey-Based Comparison of Taxis, Transit, and Ridesourcing Services in San Francisco

Authors: Lisa Rayle, Danielle Dai, Nelson Chan, Robert Cervero, Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: January 2016 Abstract: In this study, we present exploratory evidence of how “ridesourcing” services (app-based, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft) are used in San Francisco. We explore who uses ridesourcing and for what reasons, how the ridesourcing market compares to that of traditional taxis, and how ridesourcing impacts the use of public transit and overall vehicle travel. In spring 2014, 380 completed intercept surveys were collected from three ridesourcing “hot spots” in San Francisco. We compare survey results with matched-pair taxi trip data and results of a previous taxi user survey. We also compare travel times for ridesourcing and taxis with those for public transit. The findings indicate that, despite many similarities, taxis and ridesourcing differ in user characteristics, wait times, and trips served. While ridesourcing replaces taxi trips, at least half of ridesourcing trips replaced modes other than taxi, including public transit and driving. Impacts on overall vehicle travel are unclear. We conclude with suggestions for future research. View...
Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

Mobile Apps and Transportation: A Review of Smartphone Apps and a Study of User Response to Multimodal Traveler Information

In recent years, technological and social forces have pushed smartphone applications (apps) from the fringe to the mainstream. Understanding the role of transportation apps in urban mobility is important for policy development and transportation planners. This study evaluates the role and impact of multimodal aggregators from a variety of perspectives, including a literature review; a review of the most innovative, disruptive, and highest-rated transportation apps; interviews with experts in the industry, and a user survey of former multimodal aggregator RideScout users. Between February and April 2016, researchers conducted interviews with experts to gain a stronger understanding about challenges and benefits of data sharing between private companies and public agencies. Key findings from the expert interviews include the critical need to protect user privacy; the potential to use data sharing to address integrated corridor and congestion management as well as various pricing strategies during peak hours; along with the potential benefits for improving coordination between the public and private sectors. In March 2016, researchers surveyed 130 people who had downloaded the RideScout app to evaluate attitudes and perceptions toward mobile apps, travel behavior, and modal shift. The goal was to enhance understanding of how the multimodal apps were impacting the transportation behavior. The survey did found that respondents used multimodal apps in ways that yielded travel that was less energy intensive and more supportive of public transit. Looking to the future, smartphone applications and more specifically multimodal aggregators, may offer the potential for transportation planners and policymakers to enhance their understanding of multimodal travel behavior, share data, enhance collaboration, and identify opportunities for public-private partnerships....

Mobility and the Sharing Economy: Impacts Synopsis – Spring 2015

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, and Nelson Chan Published: March 2015 Abstract: Shared-use mobility includes carsharing, personal vehicle sharing (or peer-to-peer (P2P) carsharing), bikesharing, scooter sharing, shuttle services, ridesharing, and on-demand ride services. It can also include commercial delivery vehicles providing flexible goods movement. Shared-use mobility has had a transformative impact on many global cities by enhancing transportation accessibility while simultaneously reducing ownership of personal automobiles. In the context of carsharing and bikesharing, vehicles and bicycles are typically unattended, concentrated in a network of locations where the transaction of checking out a vehicle or bicycles is facilitated through information technology (IT) and other technological innovations. Usually, carsharing and bikesharing operators are responsible for the cost of maintenance, storage, parking, and insurance/fuel (if applicable). In the context of classic ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling) and on-demand ride services, such as transportation network companies (TNCs), many of these providers employ IT to facilitate the matching of riders and drivers for trip making. View...