Rapid advances in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology in recent years have changed transportation systems and consumer habits globally. As countries around the world see an increase in audiovisual usage, the rise of on-demand autonomous mobility (AMoD) shared service is likely to be next on the cards. Public transport (PT), a vital component of urban transport, will inevitably be affected by the upcoming influx of AMoD and the question remains unanswered as to whether AMoD would coexist with or threaten the PT system.
Researchers from the Future Urban Mobility (FM) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), the research firm of MIT in Singapore and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), conducted a case study in the first-mile mobility market from origins to metro stations in Tampines, Singapore, to find out.
In an article titled “Competition between Shared Autonomous Vehicles and Public Transport: A Case Study from Singapore” recently published in the journal Transport Research, Part C: Emerging Technologies, the first study of its kind used game theory to analyze the competition between AMoD and PT.
The study was simulated and evaluated from a competitive perspective – where AMoD and PT operators are profit oriented with dynamically adjustable sourcing strategies. Using an agent-based simulation, the competition process and system performance were assessed from the perspective of four stakeholders – the AMoD operator, the PT operator, the passengers and the authority. transport.
“The objective of our study is to envision the cities of the future and to understand how the competition between AMoD and PT will impact the evolution of transport systems”, says the corresponding author of the article, principal investigator SMART FM and Associate Professor in the Department of MIT. of urban studies and planning, Jinhua Zhao. “Our study found that competition between AMoD and PT can be favorable, resulting in increased benefits and system efficiency for both operators compared to the status quo, while also benefiting the public and transport authorities. However, the impact of competition on passengers is uneven and authorities may be required to provide support to people who suffer from higher travel costs or longer travel times in terms of discounts or other modes of travel. desert. “
The study found that competition between AMoD and PT would force bus operators to reduce the frequency of inefficient routes and allow AMoDs to fill gaps in service coverage. “Although the overall bus supply has been reduced, the change has not been uniform,” says the first author of the article, MIT doctoral student Baichuan Mo. “We found that PT services will be spatially concentrated on shorter routes that feed directly to the metro station, and temporarily concentrated at peak times. On average, this reduces passenger travel time but increases travel costs. However, the generalized travel cost is reduced by integrating the value of time. “The study also found that granting subsidies to PT services would result in relatively higher supply, profit and market share for PT compared to AMoD, and an increase in the cost of generalized travel for passengers and passengers. the total passenger car equivalent (PCE), which is measured by the average vehicle load and the total kilometer traveled by the vehicle.
The results suggest that PT should be allowed to optimize its procurement strategies according to specific operating objectives and constraints to improve efficiency. On the other hand, AMoD operations should be regulated to reduce the adverse impacts on the system, including limiting the number of licenses, operating time and service areas, which would allow AMoD to operate in a more complementary manner to the system. PT system.
“Our research shows that under the right conditions, an AMoD-PT integrated transport system can effectively coexist and complement each other, to the benefit of the four stakeholders involved,” says Hongmou Zhang, SMART FM graduate, MIT Urban Department graduate. Studies and Planning, and now Assistant Professor in the School of Government at Peking University. “Our findings will help industry, policy makers and government agencies create future policies and plans to maximize the efficiency and sustainability of transportation systems, as well as to protect the social well-being of residents as passengers. . “
The results of this study are important for future mobility industries and relevant government agencies, as they provide insight into possible developments and threats to urban transport systems with the rise of AV and AMoD, and offers a predictive guide to future policies and regulations for an AMoD. -Integrated transport system PT. Policymakers should take into account unequal social costs such as increased travel costs or travel time, especially for vulnerable groups, by supporting them and offering them discounts or other means of feeding.
The research is conducted by SMART and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore as part of its Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) program.