The Trip Characteristics of a Pilot Autonomous Vehicle Rider Program: Late Night Service Needs and Desired Increases in Service Quality, Reliability and Safety
17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2022 Last revised: 11 Jan 2023
Date Written: August 1, 2022
A substantial and growing body of literature has provided educated guesses and transportation demand modeling about how riders might behave in autonomous vehicles (AVs). No studies to-date have explored how riders behave when given access to rides in these new modes of transportation, and how they can help address lingering transportation policy challenges in the city, such as transit deserts, congestion, and increased sustainable modes. This paper evaluates a first-of-kind program, offering passengers autonomous rides in Cruise vehicles between the hours 11:00pm-5:00am when transit service is less prevalent. Results indicate that more than 76% of reported travel by AV riders was mode substitution, largely from rideshare and transit. Over 55% of trips replaced rideshare travel—most made are for social/recreational and shopping/ errands. These results suggest that the vast majority of AV trips may not represent induced or latent demand but an opportunity to address network gaps and last mile connectivity. They hold additional promise as new shared vehicle solutions emerge in the marketplace.
Keywords: autonomous vehicles, rideshare, travel behavior, latent demand
JEL Classification: R20,R40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation