International Transport Forum | Corporate Partnership Board Report | posted: 4/23/2015
What if all trips in a city were carried out by a fleet of self-driving cars shared by users? This study explores the potential outcomes of such a radical upgrade in an urban mobility system. It concludes that up to 9 out of 10 conventional cars could become redundant under certain circumstances. Vast amounts of public space would be freed for other uses in such a scenario.
However, the total volume of travel increases in most scenarios and the net benefit of such an urban mobility system upgrade decisively depends on the choice of vehicle type, the level of penetration and the availability of high-capacity public transport to complement the shared self-driving car fleet.
This report examines the changes that might result from the large-scale uptake of a shared and self-driving fleet of vehicles in a mid-sized European city. The study explores two different self-driving vehicle concepts, for which we have coined the terms “TaxiBot” and “AutoVot”. TaxiBots are self-driving cars that can be shared simultaneously by several passengers. AutoVots pick-up and drop-off single passengers sequentially.
We had two premises for this study: First, the urban mobility system upgrade with a fleet of TaxiBots and AutoVots should deliver the same trips as today in terms of origin, destination and timing. Second, it should also replace all car and bus trips. The report looks at impacts on car fleet size, volume of travel and parking requirements over two different time scales: a 24-hour average and for peak hours only.