In the past decade, emerging transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft have replaced, supplemented, and disrupted traditional modes of transportation. They have transitioned from upstarts to important and permanent players in the transportation industry. At the same time, connected and autonomous vehicle (AVs) technology has advanced dramatically in recent years, promising a further revolution in transportation. What’s more, on-demand TNC fleets will be among the first applications of self-driving vehicles due to the heavy utilization and lower per-mile costs of shared fleets.

EDR Group is prepared to analyze the impacts of these two revolutions on transportation networks and regional economies: mobility-on-demand services and vehicle automation. Our projects study the behavior of on-demand ride users, particularly shared versus solo TNC trips. Our analytical methods incorporate cutting edge survey and data analysis to understand not only travel behavior, but also its economic impacts and how polices could incentivize more people to share their journeys and what impacts this might have on the transportation system in different cities. Our insights on new mobility paradigms enhance traditional planning and evaluation work, helping clients address questions around these uncertain, emerging issues. Below is a selection of our ongoing work on in this critical topic.

Application Areas: icon color transTransportation, icon color urbanUrban Development

Examples:

Shared Mobility Options and Incentives Study: For the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), EDR Group is currently studying the effect of policy incentives on mode choice: driving, carpooling, ridesharing, ridepooling, and transit. In particular, we are developing  a model that will analyze options for encouraging the choice of shared over single-occupant rides using survey data collected from users of a major TNC.

Impacts and Costs of Connected and Automated Vehicles: For FHWA, EDR Group is assessing the total costs of 6 scenarios for CAV deployment in 2035, including cumulative capital costs (i.e., new vehicles and infrastructure) and annual costs/cost savings (i.e., transit and freight operations, household travel).

Uber’s Economic Impacts Across the United States: For Uber, EDR Group collected 22,000 surveys from riders and drivers to measure the economic impact of the company’s on-demand ride services on the national and regional economies. Our study was the first ever to quantify both the economic impacts and benefits of on-demand ride services offered by TNCs. As such, this work pioneered new methods for putting numbers to intangible features of this emerging industry, including reliability, access, flexibility, income, and productivity – ultimately finding that Uber contributes billions of dollars in economic benefits and impacts each year.    

Treatment of Emerging Modes in Economic Evaluation Models: EDR Group provides training to agencies and consultants in the application of the TREDIS system for economic impact, benefit-cost, and financial analysis to novel modes such as connected truck platoons and CAV passenger vehicles. Our approach captures the effect of emerging technologies on travel costs and characteristics with an eye to scenario testing and technology impact valuations.

Self-Driving Autos: Actions and Options for Switzerland: For Technology Assessment – Switzerland, EDR Group supported development of communication materials to engage the public in exploring the applications and implications of CAVs in order to produce a book for the Swiss legislature.

Use of Automated Vehicles in Everyday Life – Potential Applications and Effects: For the Swiss Association of Cities, our affiliate EBP provided guidance on incopration of CAVs into traffic modeling, traffic operations, data management, spatial planning, environmental evaluation, and freight logistics.

Accomplishing Vision Zero by Means of Automated Driving: For the Swiss Road Safety Fund, EBP conducted analysis of nearly 400,000 crashes and assessed how autonomous vehicles might have affected the likelihood or severity of each crash.

Technological Change and its Consequences for Transportation: For the Swiss Association of Transportation Engineering Experts (SVI) research program "Transportation of the Future", EBP identified the technologies key to the transportation system of 2060 using system dynamics modeling for three scenarios.

Fundamentals of Cost-Benefit Analysis – Development of Vehicle Operating Costs: For the Swiss Association of Road and Transport Professionals (VSS), EBP estimated operating cost rates that consider the future composition of vehicle fleets, with a special focus in the vehicle operation costs of CAVs.

 

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