Abstract

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 US$2,000 per year per CAV, rising to nearly $5,000 when comprehensive crash costs are reflected. However, vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) are likely to rise, due to 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 CAV pitfalls while exploiting their benefits. Shared AVs (SAVs) will offer many people access to such technologies at relatively low cost (e.g., US$0.60 per km), with empty-vehicle travel on the order of 10 to 15 percent of fleet VKT. If SAVs are smaller and/or electric, 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 VKT may not rise: instead, travel times – and their unreliability – may fall. If credit-based congestion pricing 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 students and researchers think about policies, technologies, and other tools to improve quality of life for all travelers.

Speaker Bio

Kara Kockelman is the Dewitt Greer Professor of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Kara Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering, a master’s of city planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Kockelman 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 two books) 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 issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and consequences.

For more information about the ESD Seminars Series, please contact Karthyek Murthy at karthyek_murthy@sutd.edu.sg.