Policy and Strategy Evaluation of Ridesharing Autonomous Vehicle Operation: A London Case Study


To understand the dynamics of an autonomous ridesharing transport mode from the perspectives of different stakeholders, a single model of such a system is essential, because this will enable policymakers and companies involved in the manufacture and operation of shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) to develop user-centered strategies. The model needs to be based on real data, network, and traffic information and applied to real cities and situations, particularly those with complex public transportation systems. In this paper, we propose a new agent-based model for SAV deployment that enables the parametric assessment of key performance indicators from the perspective of potential SAV users, vehicle manufacturers, operators, and local authorities. This has been applied to a case study of three regions in London: central, inner, and outer. The results show there is no linear correlation between an increased ridesharing acceptance level and average trip duration. Without a fleet rebalancing algorithm, over 80pc of SAV energy expenditure is on picking up customers. By reducing pickup distance, SAVs could be a contender for a nonpersonal transportation system based on trip energy comparisons. The results provide a picture of future SAV systems for potential users and offer suggestions as to how operators can devise an optimal transportation strategy beyond the question of fleet size and how policymakers can improve the overall transport network and reduce its environmental impact based on energy consumption. As a result of its flexibility and parametric capability, the model can be utilized to inform any local authority how SAV services could be deployed in any city.

Transportation Research Board 102nd Annual Meeting (TRBAM 2023)