Overview

Connected and (fully-) automated vehicles (CAVs) are set to disrupt the ways in which we travel. CAVs will affect road safety, congestion levels, vehicle ownership and destination choices, long-distance trip-making frequencies, mode choices, and home and business locations. Benefits in the form of crash savings, driving burden reductions, fuel economy, and parking cost reductions are on the order of $2,000 per year per CAV, rising to nearly $5,000 when comprehensive crash costs are reflected. However, vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) will rise, due to mode shifts (away from traditional transit), AVs traveling empty, longer-distance trip-making, and access for those currently unable to drive, such as those with disabilities. New policies and practices are needed, to avoid excessive congestion and emissions, while exploiting CAVs’ benefits.

Shared AVs (SAVs) will offer many people access to such technologies at relatively low cost (e.g., $1 per mile), with empty-vehicle travel on the order of 10 to 15 percent of fleet VMT. If SAVs are smaller and more fuel efficient, and dynamic ride-sharing is enabled and regularly used, emissions and energy demand may fall. If road tolls are thoughtfully applied, using GPS across all congested segments and times of day, total VMT may not rise: instead, travel times – and their unreliability – may fall. If credit-based congestion pricing (CBCP) is used, traveler welfare may rise and transportation systems may ultimately operate near-optimally. This presentation will present research relating to all these topics, to help technologists think about designs, policies, and practices that may improve quality of life for all travelers.

About the Speaker

Kara Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a Ph.D., M.S., and B.S., in civil engineering, a master’s of city planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Austin for the past 20 years.

She is primary and co-author of over 140 journal articles and one book across a variety of subjects, nearly all of which involve transportation-related data analysis. Her primary research interests include planning for shared and autonomous vehicle systems, the statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade and location choice), energy and climate issue (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrences and consequences.

Pre-prints of all her (and her students’) papers can be found here, along with her CV and other details.

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