- Doctoral Thesis
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Autonomous vehicles (AVs), also called driverless vehicles, according to SAE International (2016) levels 4 and 5 definitions, are the next revolution in transport. This thesis provides an overview of the technology and the effects of AVs on the future transport system. It results in recommendations on how to maximize the benefits of AVs while minimizing their negative effects. It consolidates work by the author and collaborators done over the past years and therefore approaches the topic from different angles. This work thus not only provides a solid background on the topic for interested readers, but also recommendations relevant for future political discussions and practice. The first part of this thesis (Chapter 2) provides a general and qualitative overview of AVs. It investigates their effects on and potential benefits for the future transport system. This summary covers most aspects that have been topic of discussions on AVs in recent time. It presents the potential benefits of AVs, which are, for example, improved safety, fewer externalities, increased road capacity, productive drive time, and the potential for empty rides, which allow for new services and usage-patterns. But it also shows the remaining challenges for a successful release of the technology, which are, for example, technological problems, safety and security issues, data and privacy questions, as well as ethical and legal discussions. The second part (Chapter 3) approaches the topic from an economic point of view. It focuses on the future cost structure of a transport system with AVs. In a rigorous bottom-up approach, the cost and price of private, shared, and public modes are calculated. The resulting picture indicates that the reign of the private car might not yet end with the automation of transport. Shared AVs (SAVs) will likely be cheaper per passenger kilometer (PKM) and more comfortable to use. But the price difference (urban setting: private car 0.47 Swiss francs (CHF) per PKM versus SAV 0.43 CHF/PKM) might not be enough to offset the luxury of having a private mobility robot at one’s service at all times, the emotional connection to the private car, and its use as an extended part of home. The presented work also indicates that automation represents a challenge for mass transit. In dense urban cores, the limited road capacity will likely prevent alternative solutions to mass transit. Outside, where road capacity is less of an issue, however, SAVs will be a competitive alternative form of public transport. At lower prices (regional setting: SAV 0.34 CHF/PKM versus autonomous bus 0.42 CHF/PKM), SAVs enable direct on-demand door-to-door service without transfers and without strangers in the same vehicle. The third part (Chapter 4 to Chapter 7) combines the qualitative overview with the economic analysis in a simulation study of the future transport system. With a scenario-based approach using a MATSim (Horni et al., 2016) simulation of Zug, Switzerland, it approaches the topic from a policy-oriented angle. By analyzing different possible policy strategies in different scenarios and combined with the results of the previous chapters, it concludes in four policy suggestions to maximize the potential benefits of AVs and minimize their negative effects. These recommendations are, first, to promote slow modes and public transport. At least in urban areas, harvesting automation for improving mass transit and thus a strengthening of these low-externality modes is a way to benefit sustainably from AVs. Second, an introduction of mobility pricing should be considered to control growth of traffic and to replace traffic control instruments lost to automation (like parking). Induced demand and empty rides of private and shared AVs have the potential to lead to another explosion of traffic, which should be controlled for the benefit of everyone. The third recommendation is the controlled support of automation of private transport. AVs are safer and produce less externalities than conventional vehicles, and they allow the users to be productive while on the road. These are substantial benefits for society, which should be harvested as soon as technologically possible. The fourth suggestion is, for SAVs, to actively favor dynamic ride-sharing (automated ride-sharing, aRS) over exclusive-access taxi services (automated taxis, aTaxis). Both the users and the suppliers have strong incentives for aTaxis, which might be only slightly more expensive to operate than aRS services (urban setting: aRS 0.29 CHF/PKM versus aTaxi 0.41 CHF/PKM). From a society and transport system perspective, however, aTaxis produce substantial additional traffic on each passenger trip compared to private vehicles (estimated +8% (Fagnant et al., 2015) to +15% (Bösch et al., 2016a) for passenger pick-ups alone, without redistribution, for example), represent challenges for the infrastructure (pick-up solutions at mobility hubs, such as city centers, train stations, or airports), and draw substantial modal shares from slow modes (here -7.5%) and mass-transit public transport (here -6.7%). Effects which can be minimized or even turned into savings by using SAV as aRS services. Ride-sharing (or - in its high-volume form - mass transit) is one of the very few ways how an increasing travel demand can be served with decreasing vehicle kilometers. These recommendations might be general and have to be analyzed in more detail for a particular city or area, but they represent an indication of the upcoming challenge for society to integrate AVs and negotiate the future transport system. Show more
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Organisational unit03521 - Axhausen, Kay W. / Axhausen, Kay W.
02655 - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft D-ARCH
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