Automated driving in future mobility systems: User preferences and modeled transport development

Project description

Many experts expect automated vehicles (AVs) to become established in various forms in the foreseeable future and, consequently, to change traffic. Accordingly, it is assumed that today’s traffic flow and mobility behavior will also change – such as how people use their travel time or evaluate distances. However, the determination of these parameters is essential for forecasting tools such as transport models and thus a quantified assessment of potential impacts of AVs.

Against this backdrop, the question arises of how the effects of AVs can be assessed using existing forecasting tools. Classical forecasting tools, in particular transport models, need to be further developed to reflect the expected changes in preferences and behavior. Therefore, the aim of the research project is an empirical identification of relevant behavioral parameters under the assumption of AV availability in order to make them usable for the Swiss national passenger transport model (NPVM).

In the project, the potential for change is assessed based on people’s real-life situations (commuting, leisure activities, etc.) in order to better understand under which conditions new services might be interesting to whom and for what reasons. For this purpose, focus groups with different socio-demographic profiles will be conducted in different spatial categories. Especially when it comes to technologies and services that are not yet established in everyday life, the exchange of arguments and perspectives can help focus group participants to put themselves in fictitious situations, better identify the respective advantages and disadvantages, and compare them with their own preferences and behavioral patterns. In particular, the study will examine whether or under what conditions a reassessment of time and costs can be expected for automated vehicles. We are also interested in the extent to which other parameters such as occupancy rate or type of service become relevant for mobility decisions. A comprehensive literature review will provide the basis for the empirical work.

Based on the empirical research, we will identify the necessary adjustments to the parameters of the NPVM and implement them as far as possible. Of particular interest are the expected changes in trip generation rates (number of trips) and destination and mode choice. In principle, the NPVM allows for a nationwide assessment for Switzerland.


Dipl.-Geogr. Jens Schippl
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-23994